Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Your Genteel Moderator apologizes for taking so long to address this issue, some three weeks after the campaign, run in Mexico, was pulled. As good as Absolut’s marketing has been, this really does go to show how even the best can get it horribly wrong from time to time, and recover. The really important question is how much Absolut was consumed prior to or during the marketing review in which the ad was approved, or whether it was a local decision fueled by contraband tequila in the Vin & Sprit (Absolut’s parent company) offices in Mexico City?

“I would just like to thank the bright eyed boys and girls at Teran/TBWA here in Mexico City for creating yet another brilliant iteration of the Absolut campaign with this witty pun on the Reconquista, US immigration policy, and border security during a US Presidential election year”, said Sven Svenson, Director of Marketing for NAFTA at Vin & Sprit, just before downing another shot of tequila. No he didn’t, and to the best of our knowledge there is no Sven Svenson at Vin & Sprit (and if there is, ursaekta, Sven). But some poor sod did review and approve the Teran/TBWA ad a month or so ahead of the March 31 announcement by Pernod Ricard that it would acquire 100% of Vin & Sprit, thereby putting itself on a nearly equal footing with Diageo, the leading beverage alcohol company in the world. It seems unlikely that he or she will have prospered under the subsequent acquisition.

These things happen, and they almost never happen because someone in senior management with a “big-picture overview” evaluated the risks and decided to pull the trigger anyway. These types of bad decisions are almost always made by well-intentioned, intelligent people who really didn’t understand that something as simple as a “funny ad” could end up costing them their jobs. Your Genteel Moderator recalls a similar, albeit smaller scale, issue when Maori (as in the indigenous people of New Zealand) was used in a promotional campaign for L&M cigarettes in Israel. The Maori were not amused, but the twenty-something year olds who put the campaign together for the Israeli market couldn’t understand how it came to be an international issue virtually overnight, or why Altria’s Chairman was being questioned about it by Maori representatives at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. It becomes an issue when a global brand icon or industry leading company that is supposed to “think globally and act locally”, skips the thinking part.

On the other hand, Vin & Sprit were quick to act when it became apparent that there were numerous people north of the Rio Grande who failed to appreciate the wittiness of the ad. There was indeed an extensive outcry with a number of bloggers leading the charge and I can assure you that it was not a fun couple of days in the external affairs function at Vin & Sprit. Jeff Moran, Director of Public Relations and Events at Vin & Sprit’s Absolut Spirits Company Inc., based in New York, had a very bad week as his e-mail address and telephone numbers were quickly published across the web. If reports of his responses to inquiries by the public are to be believed, he didn’t handle it very well. Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin led a very effective charge on the issue, albeit rather heavier on the righteous indignation than might be seemly, and posts on her site suggest Moran was somewhat peeved:

"I called Jeffrey Moran at the number you show, & was surprised that he was the one who answered the phone. I simply told him the Mexican ad was horrendous & that I would never buy any Absolut products & he should be fired. He said it wasn’t his idea, & hung up.
Larry PitetSheridan, WY "

Leading Moran no doubt to avail himself of some medicinal samples from the office product display….

Nevertheless, the company did act relatively quickly to pull the ads and within days of the campaign being launched had closed down the campaign and apologized for any offense it may have caused in the United States. There really isn’t much more the could have done and the fact that they did so in a relatively timely manner probably saved them from allowing pundits to develop a potentially serious consumer boycott. Of course, being Swedish helps. It’s hard for even the most vocal critics to work up serious invective. “This is just the latest example of Sweden’s vicious hatred for and intolerance of America, like when they called the Swedish Bikini Team home early, or made Volvos”. It just doesn’t work. If only it were “Absolute pays de la France”…

The Bleeding Heart was amused. “The ad was silly and it appears that only the haters and anti-immigration scare mongers were able to get themselves worked up about it. It says a lot that conservatives are so desperate to find some way to keep these myths about illegal immigration alive that they whipped this up into a tempest in a shot glass. No educated person can doubt that the Mexican –American War was an entirely American provocation and a bald land-grab. Nor can they be surprised to find that Mexicans would rather the American Southwest still belonged to them. I bet this had Lou Dobbs choking on his Schlitz! In any event, Absolut will most definitely be on the menu at our Cinco de Mayo Party!”

The Bloated Plutocrat was apparently caught short, however. “What a bunch of nonsense! Who’s getting worked up about some booze ad? Everyone needs to calm down about this Reconquista nonsense. What we need is a functional guest worker program in this country. If you kick out 15 million illegal Mexicans, who's going to train the Hondurans to do the gardening? Besides, Vodka is a Bolshevik drink. You don’t think Molotov was mixing gin Martinis, do you?” Mind you, it was quite late last night when I finally spoke to the Bloated Plutocrat and, even over the phone, I thought I could detect the faint smell of a peaty single malt on his breath.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Cows are Drunk and My Beer Tastes like Cow Patty…it Must be Earth Day!

It has come to the attention of Your Genteel Moderator that some of his refined readers believe he has been unkind in consistently taking companies to task for greenwashing, i.e. spinning their actions or processes as environmentally friendly when there is at least some evidence to the contrary. Having reviewed past Blogposts, there has certainly been a good deal to say about corporate greenwashing, and little have I focused on those actions by companies that do indeed act in ways that represent real, meaningful and effective commitment to the environment. It is therefore with great pleasure that I stitch together this post which covers two of my favourite things: Vermont and Beer.

Looks like those Down East Yankees at the Long Trail Brewing Company have got the green coming and going. The privately held Long Trail Brewery of Bridgewater VT doesn’t release detailed financials but with nearly 90,000 barrels of installed capacity, they stand solidly in the upper ranks of America’s independent craft brewers, have grown solidly and steadily since their 1989 debut, and were just this month ranked (by sales) 22 out of 1,406 small, independent craft breweries across the country. With 19 years of successive growth, expansion plans telegraphed by permits the company has obtained, and continuing rumors of some kind of Anheuser-Busch link-up afoot, we can safely say that this is a business-savvy and successful company, if perhaps another Ben & Jerry’s corporate sell-out in the making.

So when a company like Long Trail (the largest to yet do so) signs on to Central Vermont Public Services “Cow Power” program and begins utilizing electricity generated by the same cows that it flogs the hops and malt leftovers from beer production to as feed, we really are moving into an area of seemingly solid green economics and science. Because not only does electricity generation from the methane released from cow manure represent use of a “green” fuel, it also helps diminish a significant source of so-called greenhouse gas. According to an Earthsave report (ah, those wonderful environmental campaigners unhindered by inconveniences like the truth), animal agriculture is the single largest source of human activity related methane gas emissions. The EPA suggests that it is the third largest such source, following landfills and natural gas systems. In any event, according to multiple sources animal agriculture is a major source of methane, a leading “greenhouse gas”, so diminishing the emission of methane by using cow manure as fuel to generate electricity must be beneficial (even if it simply replaces methane with CO2). Finally, there is a substantial benefit simply from consuming the manure as fuel. You can only spread so much muck on your fields and maintenance of manure slurry is a major environmental issue, and cost, for dairy farmers, so much so that foreign dairy farmers are moving to the US to benefit from less severe environmental regulations, among other things.

Long Trail Principal Andy Pherson must presume that demonstrably and seriously going green will in fact attract more customers and sell more beer. Coming from a small, independent, Vermont craft brewery, this has the intuitive ring of truth to it. Long Trail’s portfolio of ales are not trading on a price proposition. Building increased energy expenditures into the premium charged for their beer, or at least mentally (let’s not toss around any GAP contravention allegations) writing some portion of those costs off to marketing expenditures makes good sense for a company that has long cultivated an independent, eco-friendly image. And there’s the rub for most larger companies. When the Long Trail Brewery of Bridgewater VT does something green like contract for premium electricity (it will allegedly raise the electricity costs by some $ 10,000 per annum), it sounds credible, whether the company has a track record of environmental commitment (and Long Trail does), or not. When Shell puts a number of earthy-crunchy scientists on its TV ads saying how much the company cares about the environment, well, I think they are contributing more methane gas to the environment.

The difference between greenwashing and actually generating positive investor or consumer reaction to meaningful green action seems directly related to the company’s “methane meter” reading. The credibility of the green activity has to be solid. Virgin Airways flying from Amsterdam to London on 20% babassu nut bio-fuel ( see March 5 blog entry) may well advance the development of aviation bio-fuels, but it doesn’t make Virgin “green” and it has the wafting scent of another palm oil environmental disaster in the making. When a company has a comprehensive program in place aimed at diminishing its environmental impact, and the doing so costs them money, it becomes credible and tangible.

The Bloated Plutocrat was not interested. “Beer? I don’t drink beer and unless Vermont miraculously develops a credible wine industry anytime soon, I’m not very interested in the state either. There was that charming Bing Crosby movie of course, but the skiing is much better in the Rockies in any event. As for CVPS creating electricity from cow manure, well Bully for them!” The Bleeding Heart on the other hand hasn’t been so pleased since the civil union legislation went through in Vermont. “ This is exactly what we mean when we talk about “the green economy”! This is the type of change that Senator Obama is talking about – changing the way we do business, changing the way we live, and changing our purchasing behavior. I do hope that I can find Long Trail beers in Fairfield County.”

Your Genteel Moderator must admit to bias in this matter. Having spent a good deal of time in Vermont, where our family has had roots since the middle of the 19th century, and being somewhat fond of Long Trail’s IPA, rather than question the real impact of manure driven electrical generation, I will focus on further study of the company’s portfolio and remind my respected readers to be careful of the carousing beer fed cows (let us hope that Central Vermont Kobe beef is not next on the menu) in the greater Bridgewater area…

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Guns Before Butter

That was the title of a discordant, angry song by the Gang of Four, a band that I quite liked in my misspent youth. They were loosely paraphrasing Otto von Bismarck, the effective founder of modern Germany, and suggesting a militaristic preference for the one over the other. On the other hand, ‘butter’ is a part of the well known phrase referring to basic food goods, ‘bread and butter’, and one’s source of income. Well, this week Wal-Mart, the largest seller of firearms in the US, appeared to put voluntary restrictions on the sale of guns ahead of the bread and butter of sales. Given the Presidential campaign, recent jibes about gun-owning, and the landmark case (Heller v. District of Columbia) regarding the District’s restrictions on gun ownership pending in the Supreme Court, Wal-Mart’s decision made a lot of noise. What was the buzz about?

Wall Street appears to have approved because Wal-Mart gained $1.12 as one of the DJIA leaders on the first day of trading following the announcement. “Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns”, led by New York City Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, approved, with Wal-Mart announcing its decision in association with the Bloomberg funded coalition of Mayors in favor of gun control. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence approved, as did other organizations in favor of gun control. Both groups applauded Wal-Mart’s adoption of a 10 point plan to strengthen background checks on buyers and its employees who sell guns with measures that include, among other things:

· Creating a record and alert system to record when a gun sold at Wal-Mart is later used in a crime. If the purchaser of that gun later tries to buy another gun at Wal-Mart, the system would alert the sales clerk of the prior buy and could refuse to make the sale.

· Retaining the recorded images of gun sales in case law enforcement wants to view them later as part of an investigation.

· Expanding background checks of employees who handle guns and expanding inventory controls.

The National Rifle Association did not approve. “I view it as a public relations stunt that stigmatizes law-abiding firearms purchasers exercising their freedom under the Constitution,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. He further said that if politicians were serious about reducing gun crime they would worry less about legal sellers and buyers and get tougher criminal sentences for illegal gun dealers. “I honestly think it’s a corporation trying to curry favor with politicians as opposed to doing anything meaningful about stopping crime,” said LaPierre.

There’s certainly something to be said for LaPierre’s point of view. It is highly likely that currying favor with politicians was somewhere on Wal-Mart’s decision tree, along with litigation risk prevention. On balance, for the company and its shareholders, this would appear to be a smart move. Outside Alaska, the company only retails rifles and shotguns (in Alaska it does sell handguns). As handguns are statistically more likely to be used in crimes Wal-Mart has already managed its litigation risk to some extent. Furthermore, citing falling revenues from gun sales in many outlets, two years ago this very week the company ceased rifle and shotgun sales in about 25% - 30% of all its mainland US outlets. Given these facts, it seems unlikely that sales revenues will be significantly affected by the new voluntary restrictions (a fact that Wall Street seems to agree with) while at the same time, the company has improved management of its litigation risks and, yes, curried favor with politicians in major urban centers where it wants to open new outlets and where such moves have previously met with substantial opposition. Wal-Mart has undoubtedly got this one right.

But what of the NRA’s criticism? Doesn’t LaPierre have a point in saying that these types of restrictions will stigmatize law-abiding firearms purchasers? Yes and no. Given the Malthusian proliferation of state and municipal gun laws that have emerged over the last two decades, those with a broad view of the Second Amendment, like the NRA, have a valid argument that more and more restrictions may indeed serve to “stigmatize” law-abiding purchasers of firearms by making exercise of their Second Amendment rights not dissimilar to the purchase of pornography, a shady and shameful thing. And most people could probably agree that a father taking his son to buy his first deer rifle should not have to undergo a shady or shameful experience.,2933,338282,00.html

But the Supreme Court seems poised to make a decision affirming a lower court’s ruling that the District of Columbia’s near total ban on handgun ownership is illegal and contravenes the Second Amendment rights of those like the six DC residents who originally brought suit against the DC law. So LaPierre and others with a broad view of Second Amendment rights need to rethink their strategies. If the DC ban is indeed overturned by Supreme Court decision, there will be substantial jurisprudence in favor of an individual’s right to keep and bear arms and it will open many other state and municipal gun laws to challenge. This will be a dangerous time for gun owners, and gun-owner advocacy groups. Gloating may see them snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

“Hell hath no fury like a Liberal scorned”, writes the Bleeding Heart. “If the Court overturns the DC law banning handgun ownership in the District, we will mobilize en masse to oppose further erosion of the rights of state and municipal governments to create reasonable and appropriate laws aimed at diminishing gun violence and gun crime in our cities. This will not stand as an open invitation to every crazy gun-owner to stock up on Glocks and Magnums so that our children can be put at further risk”.

The Bloated Plutocrat was more subdued in his reaction to the subject. “I can’t imagine why anyone would be buying shotguns from Wal-Mart in any event. I had a lovely set of Purdeys made for me several years ago and that’s what you want. Nothing beats a bespoke gun. As for the Second Amendment, I never viewed it as the ‘Deer Hunting Amendment’. I always understood it as protecting a law-abiding individual’s right to keep and bear arms in order to protect himself and his community from both foreign invaders and domestic tyranny. In fact, less hunting is what we should be after. When I go grouse shooting, I don’t want to have to share the woods with a bunch of yahoos in camouflage waving around Wal-Mart shotguns. Hunting is a gentlemen’s sport and should be reserved for gentlemen.”

LaPierre and others who favor a broad view of the Second Amendment should take note of the Bleeding Heart’s words. If the Supreme Court affirms overturn of the DC handgun ban, gun control advocates will go ballistic. Compromise is best made from a position of strength and, while the NRA has battled on behalf of gun-owners for decades, it will be interesting to see whether it can make reasonable compromises on behalf of gun-owners as well. LaPierre may want to take a lesson from Wal-Mart about doing the right thing at the right time.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Love is in the Air........somewhere.

Ah, the wafting scent of tear gas in the air, police klaxons blaring, the sounds of rocks hitting plexiglass shields, riot police with arms linked marching through the streets. It must be Paris in the Spring.

I know. It’s not particularly sporting. Anyone can have a pretty good go at the French. This, however, is a return to a subject covered some weeks ago when unrest in Tibet first broke out and we explored both issues that corporate sponsors of the games may face and some strategies for dealing with these challenges ( See March 17 blog entry). Today’s efforts by thousands of protestors in Paris to extinguish (or steal?) the Olympic torch on its way to Beijing not only marks the French equivalent of Opening Day of the baseball season (protesting, sanctions violating, and slander being the national sports), it also suggests that there will be a real and sizeable community seeking to politicize the games and draw attention to China’s human rights record. Since the chances of China responding to French protests or any other type of criticism are slim, the ante has just gone up for Olympic sponsors.

Despite the government mobilizing some 3000 police, protestors so disrupted the running of the torch across Paris that the torch was indeed extinguished several times as it was ferried from area to area on a bus, and eventually the run was abandoned altogether. In a remarkable break with tradition, the French even stood up to a foreign force in their country. According to AP, “Outside, a few French activists supporting Tibet had a fist-fight with pro-Chinese demonstrators. The French activists spat on them and shouted, ‘Fascists!” What, instead of welcoming them with open arms, champagne, and dates with their sisters? How bizarre. “Le Monde” reported at least twenty arrests.

So, what now for the companies that have sunk millions into sponsorship of the games and built entire marketing campaigns and product launches around the games? Withdraw support and face an angry board-room and being shut out of the world’s largest potential consumer market? Stick it out with tired lines like Omega’s “We don’t get involved in politics”? With French protesters actually showing some spine, the likes of VW, a Beijing games sponsor, have to be getting increasingly nervous. At the Eiffel Tower, Green Party activist and politician Sylvain Garel commenced today’s fracas by lunging at the torch shouting “Freedom for the Chinese”. Later, some 35 legislators shouted “Free Tibet” outside Parliament as the torch passed. The Green Party is a serious force in VW’s home market, a reasonably strong movement across northern Europe, and influential with a lot of 70mpg diesel VW Polo buyers. When mainstream politicians are saying things like, “It is inadmissible that the games are taking place in the world's biggest prison”, things are getting tricky indeed. Socialist Party spokesperson Julien Dray said that the games were” turning into a sinister farce before they had even begun” and attributed the disturbances in Paris today “entirely to the Chinese government which has not seized the opportunity it was offered to show its desire for democracy and recognition of civil liberties”. He also called on the International Olympic Committee to announce that a boycott of the games is possible unless the Chinese government makes concessions on human rights.

And what of the IOC? Spokeswoman Giselle Davies said, “We respect that right for people to demonstrate peacefully, but equally there is a right for the torch to pass peacefully and the runners to enjoy taking part in the relay,” she said. IOC President, Jacques Rogge, a Belgian, shook off today’s reaction by the French saying "there was no momentum for a boycott of the games". This despite French Foreign Minister Kouchner reiterating President Sarkozy’s earlier statement that he would reserve the right to do so "depending on conditions". In Beijing at an IOC meeting, and well aware of China’s increasingly furious response to criticism over its handling of unrest in Tibet (the government announced that the first group of people charged with “inciting unrest” will go on trial this week,) Rogge called for the “rapid, peaceful resolution of unrest in Tibet”, the first time he has done so and a sign that the pressure is mounting on the IOC.

The Beijing meeting was doubly tough with Rogge under pressure to issues guidelines on athlete conduct with regard to their views on China and the games. Patrick Hickey, President of the 49 member group of European Olympic Committees and a substantial IOC power-broker said, "We just want him (Rogge) to tell us straight out where athletes cannot give their opinion or make demonstrations. There will be absolutely no gagging whatsoever of our athletes. We just want to be absolutely clear, and the only one to hear it from is the IOC president." Rogge will allegedly reveal those rules during a Thursday meeting. Expect more fireworks.

Time to review strategies, sponsors. “Masterful Inactivity” is looking less and less like a winning approach, although the Bloated Plutocrat seems to still favor it. While he has a good deal to say about the undervalued Yuan, he has been remarkably silent on this subject. Speaking to me this afternoon, he said, “It’s bad for business, all this fuss and noise, not what we need now. It’s not like the Chinese intervened when all those long-haired hippies and yippies were getting knocked on the head in Chicago in ’68, so people need to calm down and let the Chinese handle this. With recession afoot and the amount of US debt that China holds, some discretion is in order”. The Bleeding Heart could not be reached. Apparently he is in San Francisco, where today activists draped the Golden Gate Bridge in pro-Tibet banners. He did send Your Genteel Moderator an e-mail calling for everyone “to come together and love one another right now”, along with some star-struck saga about meeting Richard Gere. It sounds like he was revisiting some rather dubious Haight-Ashbury locales…

A boycott of the games is not what sponsor companies need fear most. In fact, for those with good risk management and aggressive insurance policies, a large scale boycott could help extricate them from an increasingly difficult situation by providing them a relatively face-saving way out. The games going forward against the backdrop of an increasingly truculent China and a growing movement of consumer boycotts against sponsor companies is the scenario that should be causing sleepless nights. Especially in Europe, politically and socially motivated consumer boycotts over the last decade have been extremely well organized and largely effective in forcing changes in corporate behavior. Without getting out in front of such boycotts, companies face the increasing likelihood that down the road they will have to choose between angering China or angering their shareholders (and in some cases both!).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools or Working Class Heroes: The Independent Truckers’ Strike

Your Genteel Moderator begs your indulgence in this departure from genre as he addresses the rumoured independent truckers’ protest against high diesel prices and low fuel surcharges, the means by which they recoup fuel costs. Independent truckers pay full price at the pump for diesel fuel and filling up a semi’s tanks can run to more than a $1000 at the more than $4.00/gallon diesel has been running at for some two months, up between 30% - 40% vs. last year. Despite recent declines in the price of gasoline towards the $3.00 gallon mark for regular, diesel has been headed north. The answer as to why diesel is so much more expensive than gasoline, when the reverse was true for decades, is complex.

A leading factor is the increased cost of producing ultra low sulphur, so-called “clean diesel”, fuel mandated by Federal law for 2009. Indeed according to the Energy Information Administration, diesel refining costs in February went up to 18% of the price of a gallon of diesel vs. 8% for gasoline. This exacerbates a tax differential of $0.06 more per gallon on diesel ($0.244) than gasoline ($0.184). This tax differential is both inexplicable and unacceptable in application to Ultra low sulphur diesel and the fact that, per gallon, there is more energy in diesel than in gasoline making it effectively more efficient. The price is further confounded by seasonal demand for heating oil (a refining and distribution competitor for pump diesel) which coincides with the steep divergence from gasoline prices since October 2007. Finally, according to some pundits, growing world demand for diesel is a factor. Your Genteel Moderator is stumped by this last explanation. As a distillate of crude oil, increasing global demand for diesel should have an impact on the overall price of crude oil, but it is counterintuitive that it should drive diesel prices up vs gasoline prices in the US, especially as diesel engines have yet to make significant inroads in the passenger vehicle market. Refined diesel is not being transported from Europe or Asia to the US, so US distributors are not directly competing with growing diesel demand on either continent. My learned colleagues and I would greatly appreciate information from our readers addressing the mystery demand increase in the US that is allegedly a driving factor in diesel prices.

But back to the truckers. Rumours abound, fueled by CB chatter and internet banter, that an independent trucker protest/shutdown is being organized for this week, with some reports suggesting it will start today. News outlets from TV and Radio to the internet have been touting April 1 as the date for an alleged “Truck-Out” with the modus operandi described as anything from a complete shutdown to trucks simply driving at the minimum posted speed (a fuel saving measure?). A quick check of Route 95 showed no obvious decrease in tractor-trailer traffic and a scan of Channel 19 on a CB turned up references to, but no evidence of, any widespread shutdown today. There is however a good deal of confusion about when this poorly organized, “grass roots” protest is to start, with dates from April 1 to April 23 being stated in various media. There is also a history of previous failed protests dating back to August 2005 when just the same buzz was in the air.

The Bloated Plutocrat had a somewhat complicated view on the matter. “ Fuel prices are too high and are generating inflationary pressure without a doubt. Adventurist foreign policy and poor management of national resources are of course leading factors in driving up fuel prices but so is rising global energy demand. Little can be done about the latter that won’t come home to roost in our pseudo-recessionary economy. But as for those Bolshevik truckers, send out the Pinkertons’ and round them all up. We can’t have every Tom, Dick and Harry in a truck shutting down traffic and stirring up trouble. If Kerensky had had more spine we could have saved all that money wasted on the Cold War!”

Meanwhile the Bleeding Heart also seemed trapped in contradictions. “The truckers certainly have a reasonable concern. Were it not for the administration’s total inability to handle the Middle East and its ‘Might Makes Right’ approach to diplomacy, fuel prices would never have risen so high. Having said that, high fuel prices are a blessing for the environment and to the extent that they help curb emissions and save polar bears, we should be thankful rather than considering protests!”

Your Genteel Moderator must admit to ownership of a diesel vehicle and sympathy with the truckers over the highly divergent prices of gasoline and diesel fuel. One would have thought that excise tax equalization between Ultra low sulphur diesel and gasoline (at $0.184/gallon) would be an immediately appropriate action, followed by diversion of some of the enormous ethanol funding to incentivize increased Ultra low sulphur diesel refining capacity, as well as increased funding to support biodiesel development would all be sensible things that Congress could act on immediately…