Pete Landrys Real Gas.com

Your ONLY Comprehensive Source of Ethanol FREE Gas Locations Throughout Louisiana’s 64 Parishes and Mississippi’s 82 Counties.

Pete Landrys Real Gas.com - Your ONLY Comprehensive Source of Ethanol FREE Gas Locations Throughout Louisiana’s 64 Parishes and Mississippi’s 82 Counties.

WEBSITE NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

“Pete’s” News Corner

  Your advocate for PURE Gasoline        “Laissez les bon temps rouler”                      Contact “Pete” at:                        way2gopete@yahoo.com                    ————————————————————————————————- 

    *     *     *     BREAKING NEWS     *     *     *

          CHALMETTE REFINING PETITION!                                               PLEASE JOIN THE PETITION!                                             

NOTICE TO ALL READERS:  

PLEASE READ a letter which I am mailing to all refinery CEO’s who operate an oil refinery in Louisiana today.  I am URGING them to please supply us MORE non ethanol gasoline.  The letter can be found on the website’s “Pete’s Articles” page.  

PLEASE JOIN THE CHALMETTE REFINING PETITION.  Look to your right and Just click the ORANGE “Sign Petition Now” button on top right.  

READERS:  PLEASE, PLEASE continue to inform ALL your friends and neighbors about the petition and urge them to sign up.  I’d like to get at least 50 MORE signatures on the petition to allow for some who did not list their address.

NOTE:  You cannot join the Petition from a Smart Phone!  It must be done on a desktop or laptop computer!

As of late this afternoon (8/30), we now have 1,002 signed Petitions (ONLY 1 new one since Saturday)!  I’d really like to get about 50 more to allow for some errors or petitions without addresses.   PLEASE be sure to tell ALL your friends to sign the petition.

IMPORTANT:   I posted short instructions on the “Petition” window after you click on the ORANGE “Sign Petition Now” button.  It is IMPORTANT that ALL fields on the form be completed, NOT only the “*” lines.  ALSO, after completing the form, after AGAIN clicking the ORANGE “Sign Petition Now” button, please check your e-mail to click the link provided in the e-mail to REGISTER your petition. 

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I’d AGAIN like to ask ALL READERS to call each of the phone numbers listed below for Chalmette Refining and leave a POLITE message URGING them to resume the production and sale of ethanol FREE gasoline! I have asked my webmaster if he can design a new page for a “Petition” to ask Chalmette Refining to resume the sale of conventional, ethanol free gas.  Will announce if/when he can get this done. 

I am VERY DISAPPOINTED to report that Chalmette Refining has apparently “BACKED OFF” from earlier expectations that they would resume the manufacture and sale of conventional gasoline from their truck rack at the refinery!  That information comes from some of their distributors.  I spoke to Chalmette Refining’s Public Relations Manager Patrick Trahan today (7/3), and, as usual, he would NOT provide ANY information!  This is the most “SECRETIVE” organization I’ve ever dealt with, EVER!   I don’t know if they are backing off because consumers have ‘quieted down’, thinking this has blown over or not?  

MEANWHILE, I URGE all readers to “AMP UP THE NOISE” on Chalmette Refining IMMEDIATELY – ROUND 2!  

would ask that all readers phone the phone numbers I’ve listed below, AND, write a short, polite letter to Mr. Maxwell, the Chalmette Refining Plant Manager urging him to please resume the sale of Eo as soon as possible.  I will also write a letter to him and will cc the CEO of Exxon/Mobil also.   Here are the Chalmette Refining phone numbers to call and the address to write Mr. Maxwell: NOTE:  Since Chalmette Refining also previously supplied ethanol free gasoline to the western side of Mississippi, I ALSO ENCOURAGE OUR MISSISSIPPI READERS TO CALL THESE PHONE NUMBERS ALSO!

I URGE EVERYONE TO CALL EACH PHONE NUMBER AT LEAST DAILY OR MORE OFTEN AND TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO WRITE A SHORT, POLITE LETTER TO THEIR PLANT MANAGER ALSO, URGING HIM TO PLEASE RESUME THE SALE OF ETHANOL FREE GAS……… FLOOD THE LINES AND MAIL BOXES – LET THEM KNOW WE ARE SERIOUS and WILL NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!!!

- Community Hotline: (504) 211-1101

- Public Relations Manager Patrick Trahan    

(504) 281-1409 (office)      (832) 421-1995 (cell)

- Ms. Jackie Autin – Head of Product Quality  

(504) 281-1534 (office)     (504) 250-6964 (cell)

Mr. Wade Maxwell, Plant Manager                                                               Chalmette Refining                                                                                                     500 West St. Bernard Hwy                                                                                       Chalmette, LA 70043 ===================================================== 

TODAY’S ARTICLE : Today I posted an ethanol related article which discusses how fuel cells, ethanol and wind energy sources are pushing for recognition.   

SPORTS ARTICLE:  Today (8/31), I posted a sports article from the Bleacher Report in which the author makes “5 Bold Predictions for LSU’s 2014 Season”.   Read the article in the LSU section below.

GUN CONTROL  NEWS:  I posted (8/23) a new gun control article from The Washington Times titled “Lyons: Small-Arms Treaty, Big Second Amendment Threat“.  For readers who are not familiar with the United Nations Small Arms Treaty, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you read this article.  The UN has for several years attempted to develop a document that most Nations could support.  They completed their proposal in 2013 and, Obama directed Secretary of State John Kerry to sign the document in early 2014.  The treaty requires approval by the U.S. Senate before it becomes law in the U.S.   In a “straw vote” in 2013, BEFORE Kerry signed the Treaty, Senate leader Harry Reid took a vote of the Senate to see if he had enough votes to approve this Treaty.  He was short by about 8 votes.  BUT, it is important to know that Louisiana U.S. Senate Mary Landrieu voted FOR this Treaty!  In other words, she would have the U.N. take away the private ownership of guns in America and essentially negate our Constitutions 2nd Amendment.  

I URGE all gun owners and 2nd Amendment advocates to read this article and read the U.N. Treaty document below the article.  It is CRITICAL that we call, write and e-mail our Louisiana and Mississippi Senators at least weekly and URGE your Senator NOT TO VOTE for this U.N. Small Arms Treaty should it come up for a vote in the Senate.  

If the Senate approves this Treaty, kiss all your weapons goodbye!  This is VERY SCARY!  Read the article in on the website’s “Gun Control in America” page.

This is yet another reason why if we value our 2nd amendment rights, it is CRITICAL that we WAKE UP and write, call and e-mail our U.S. Senators and Congressmen and URGE them to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.  In so doing, you should make it very clear that ANY elected official that votes FOR new gun laws will NOT get your vote.  ALSO, if you are not already a member of NRA, I urge you to join.  They are a very powerful lobby force in Washington and need our support.  See the link to join below.

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YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED: 

American gun owners and defenders of the 2nd Amendment NEED HELP in fighting off the Government and State ‘gun control’ advocates!  If you are not currently a member of the NRA (National Rifle Association) or the NAGR (National Association for Gun Rights), you are urged to join TODAY.  

Here’s how (the NRA is the most powerful and influential):

NRA:   http://home.nra.org/

NAGR:  http://www.nationalgunrights.org/                                                 

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Chalmette Refining Issue:

Here is information on Chalmette Refining: 

Chalmette Refining, LLC (A joint venture between Exxon/Mobil (50%) and PDVSA (50%) the Venezuelan State Oil Company.  Exxon/Mobil is the operating partner)

500 West St. Bernard Hwy, Chalmette, LA 70043

- Main Phone: (504) 281-1212  

- Community Hot Line: (504) 211-1101

Plant Manager – Mr Wade Maxwell

Public Relations Manager – Patrick Trahan (see phone above)

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I URGE all readers to call Chalmette Refining’s Community Hot Line and URGE the Plant Manager to re-consider their decision and CONTINUE to manufacture ethanol FREE gasoline.  Also, below are the names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of Louisiana and Mississippi U.S. Senators and how to contact your U.S. Representative.  I also URGE you to “flood your Senator and Representatives’s phone lines” AND e-mails and DEMAND that they REPEAL the EPA’s Renewal Standard and allow the free market to determine if consumers want ‘corn gas’ and high food prices.  

I ALSO URGE you to have them contact Chalmette Refining’s Manager and ASK him to PLEASE continue to manufacture ethanol FREE gasoline!

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Here are the U.S. Senator and Representative contact information: 

LOUISIANA U.S. CONGRESSMEN:

Senator David Vitter:

http://www.vitter.senate.gov/contact/email-senator-vitter

516 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510 D.C.

Phone: (202) 224-4623  -  D.C. Fax: (202) 228-5061

- Metairie Office: (504) 589-2753  

- Baton Rouge: (225) 383-0331

Lafayette Office:  (337) 993-9502

- Alexandria: (318) 448-0169

- Monroe Office: (318) 325-8120  

- Shreveport: (318) 861-0437

Lake Charles Office: (337) 436-0453

Senator Mary Landrieu:

http://www.landrieu.senate.gov/?p=contact

703 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510

D.C. Phone: (202) 224-5824 – D.C. Fax: (202) 224-9735

- New Orleans Office: (504) 589-2427

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

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MISSISSIPPI U.S. CONGRESSMEN:

 Senator Thad Cochran:  http://www.cochran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me

113 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg, Washington D.C. 20510 D.C.

Phone:  (202) 224-5054 

Jackson Phone: (601) 965-4459  

-  Oxford: (662) 236-1018

Gulfport Phone: (228) 867-9710

Senator Roger F. Wickerhttp://www.wicker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

555 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510

D.C. Phone: (202) 224-6253  -  Fax: (202) 228-0378

Tupelo Office: (662) 844-5010  

-  Jackson: (601) 965-4644

Hernando Office: (662) 429-1002

- Gulfport: (228) 871-7017

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

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 *    *    *   WEBSITE NEWS    *    *    *

I would guess that the number of stations that have chosen to either stay with non ethanol gas or switch to “corn gas” after the Chalmette Refining disappointing decision to stop the manufacture of “good gas” has settled down by now.  I have therefore resumed my update of our website’s Louisiana ethanol free gas list.  As I indicted when I began this considerable effort, I will update the list on the website when I am completed.  This is a VERY time consuming effort, so bear with me.  

Finished LaSalle and Lafayette Parishes today.  Next, will tackle Lafourche which is a very large one.  I’ve been too busy preparing my letter to the Louisiana Refinery CEO’s to work on the E0 list update.  Hope to resume this week.

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  *    *    *   TODAY’S NEWS ARTICLE    *    *    * 

Today I posted an ethanol related article from Investor’s Business Daily titled “Fuel Cells, Ethanol, Wind Pushing for Recognition“.  According to the article, “The boom in U.S. oil and natural gas production unleashed by new technologies has seized global attention. But makers of alternative energy products have also been grabbing attention among investors as developing technologies begin to mature.  The most high-profile stocks receiving that attention include electric-car maker Tesla MotorsTSLA ) and solar-components producers such as First Solar ( FSLR )”.  The article also discusses the increasing popularity in wind power and how billionaire Warren Buffet has increased his investment in wind.  

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*   *   *  FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE   *   *   *

LSU Tigers are ranked 13th in Pre-Season Polls – August 30, 2014

 

DEATH VALLEY - LARGER AND LOUDER THAN EVER!

DEATH VALLEY – LARGER AND LOUDER THAN EVER!

Here is the Tigers 2014 football Schedule:  www.lsusports.net/SportSelect.dbml?&&DB_OEM_ID=5200&SPID=2164&SPSID=27811

To buy available individual game tickets, click on this link:                  

LSU Football Ticket  Linkwww.lsutix.net.

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LSU GAME SCHEDULE WITH DATES/TIMES/TV

8/30 -  WIN:  LSU  28 – Wisconsin 24 

9/6 - LSU vs Sam Houston St – Death Valley – 6:30 pm – SECN TV

9/13 - LSU vs UL Monroe – Death Valley – 6:00 pm – ESPNU TV

9/20 - LSU vs Mississippi State – Death Valley – TBA – NO TV/98.1 FM

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      *   *   *   *   2014 FOOTBALL NEWS   *   *   *   *

It wasn’t pretty, but “a WIN is a WIN”!  LSU was down 24 – 7 at the half, but came back in 2nd half to score 21 unanswered points.  Anthony Jennings did very well and Kenny Hillard was the dominant back with over 100 yards.  Both Brandon Harris and Leonard Fournette played, but neither did very well.

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Here is a link from DandyDon.com for the recently announced 2014 LSU Football Team “ROSTER”:

Link:  http://www.dandydon.com/lsu_football_roster.php

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Here is a link to a video tour of the new and  expanded LSU Tiger Football Stadium:

Link:   www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=5200&ATCLID=209600888                                                   —————————————————————

Here is an interesting article from Bleacher Report which makes 5 bold predictions for LSU’s 2014 season.  I sure hope the author is correct in his predictions, because Saturday’s first game showed there is a lot of work to be done yet:  

5 BOLD PREDICTIONS FOR LSU’s 2014 SEASON

By Carter Bryant/Featured Columnist – Bleacher Report – August 29, 2014

5 Bold Predictions for LSU's 2014 Season

Leonard Fournette and Terrance Magee

LSU head coach Les Miles has been remarkable.  Miles has won 95 games in nine seasons, which is eight more than any other SEC program in that span. LSU has gone to a bowl game and finished in the AP Top 25 in each of those years as well.

This season could be Miles’ toughest. LSU enters 2014 with much uncertainty, especially on offense. But a talented class of freshmen could lead the Tigers back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.

Here are five bold predictions for the Tigers this season.

LSU Wins 10 Games

LSU will finish 2014 with a final record of 10-3, making it five straight years the Tigers will have accumulated double-digit wins.

A win to start year No. 10 of the Miles era will not be easy. Saturday, LSU will face Wisconsin in the 2014 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff in Houston, Texas. The Tigers and Badgers were ranked No. 13th and 14th respectively in the preseason AP Top 25.

LSU’s SEC West slate will be brutal. Alabama and Auburn are the popular picks to top the conference, but emphatic wins from Texas A&M and Ole Miss on Thursday night showed they will be in the mix. Arkansas and Mississippi State are no pushovers either, as both teams return experienced starters on both sides of the ball.

The Tigers have rough patches throughout their schedule, highlighted by back-to-back road contests against Auburn and Florida. Nevertheless, expect LSU to find a way to make it to 10 wins.

Leonard Fournette Rushes for Over 1,100 Yards

LSU running back Leonard Fournette will captivate the college football world in 2014. Fournette is LSU’s most talented running back despite never having played a college down. Seniors Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard will still get carries, mainly though to give the 5-star talent from New Orleans a breather.

Quarterback Brandon Harris and receivers Trey Quinn and Malachi Dupre are other true freshmen that will get their opportunity to shine. But expect Fournette, Miles’ most prized recruit ever, to lead the way. He accumulates over 1,100 yards and scores eight touchdowns.

DeSean Smith Scores Five Touchdowns

LSU has not had a tight-end catch a touchdown pass in the past two seasons. Sophomore DeSean Smith will look to change that trend in 2014.

Smith’s 6’5”, 242-pound frame will give defenses nightmares in the red zone. He has great hands and displayed better separation skills in his route-running this spring.

A tight end can be a young quarterback’s best friend. Whether it is freshman Brandon Harris or sophomore Anthony Jennings under centre, expect them to target Smith often.

LSU’s Secondary Will Be the SEC’s Best

Class will be back in session for “Defensive Back University” in 2014.

Sophomore cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Rashard Robinson will form the best duo in the conference. White and Robinson’s ability to play man coverage will open up the playbook for innovative defensive coordinator John Chavis. Backups Jalen Collins and Ed Paris will also contribute.

Chavis must find the two safeties that work together the best. Jalen Mills, Corey Thompson, Rickey Jefferson and Ronald Martin all return with starting experience, but 5-star freshman Jamal Adams has created buzz at fall camp for his playmaking ability.

Mills and Dwayne Thomas will be effective blitzers when Chavis’ runs his 3-2-6 “Mustang” package. The Mustang was the most effective formation for the Tigers’ 2011 SEC Championship Unit.  LSU’s defense will lead the conference in interceptions and passing yards allowed in the SEC.

Kwon Alexander Makes First Team All-SEC

It is time for LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander to shine.

Alexander started last season at strong side linebacker and averaged five tackles per game. He moved to weak side this offseason to replace leading tackler Lamin Barrow.

The position switch will free up Alexander to make more plays. In the spring game, he returned an interception for a touchdown.

Alexander’s athleticism allows him to play both the run and pass effectively. Chavis will use this to his advantage next season when calling plays.

Link to Article:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2179926-5-bold-predictions-for-lsus-2014-season?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=lsu-football

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Here is a current listing of LSU Football’s 2015 Committments (as of August 27, 2014):

2015 LSU football commits (15) – Star Ratings by 24/7 Sports

- Maea Teuhema (5 Star) OL, 6-4, 340, Keller, Texas, (Keller)

- Kevin Toliver (5 Star) CB, 6-2, 185, Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian)

- Nick Brossette (4 Star) RB, 6-0, 205, Baton Rouge (University)

- Jazz Ferguson (4 Star) WR, 6-5, 205, Saint Francisville (West Feliciana)

- Derrius Guice (4 Star) RB, 6-0, 210, Baton Rouge (Catholic)

- Kevin Henry (4 Star) S, 6-1, 200, Baton Rouge (Central)

- Xavier Lewis (4 Star) CB, 6’0″, 180, East St. John, LaPlace

- Bry’Keithon Mouton (3 Star), TE, 6’2″, 230, Acadiana HS

- David Ducre (3 Star) FB, 6-0, 230, Mandeville (Lakeshore)

- Matt Wommack (3 Star) OL, 6-7, 320, Hernando, MS

- Adrian Magee (3 Star) OL, 6-4, 352, Franklinton (Franklinton)

- Isaiah Washington (3 Star) DE, 6-3, 225, New Orleans (Edna Karr)

- Blake Ferguson (3 Star) LS, 6-1, 235, Buford, Ga. (Buford)

- Hanner Shipley (3 Star) TE, 6-5, 260, Marble Falls, Texas, (Marble Falls)

- Justin McMilan (3 Star) QB, 6’2″, 170, Cedar Hills, Texas

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LSU’S 2016 FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS:

LSU’s 2016 Class commitments as of 8/27/2014:

- Feleipe Franks (4 STAR) - QB, 6′ 5″, 205, Crawfordville, FL

- Dee Anderson (4 STAR) – WR, 6’4”, 176, Mesquite, Texas

- Stephen Sullivan (4 STAR) – WR, 6’6”, 215. Donaldsonville, LA                        ———————————————————————————————————

LSU’s 2017 FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS:

BREAKING NEWS:  It was announced on Bleacher Report on August 11, 2014 that LSU 2017 commit Dylan Moses is the #1 ranked football athlete for the 2017 draft!

-Dylan Moses (5 STAR) – RB/S, 6’1″, 215, University High, Baton Rouge

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* NEW CHANGES TO ETHANOL FREE GAS LIST *

We removed THREE ethanol FREE location in Louisiana recently:

Cash-N-Carry, 12590 River Road, Destrehan, St Charles Parish – Store Stopped selling gas!

Conn’s Store, 3119 LA Hwy 146, Chatham, Jackson Parish – Store Closed (Thanks to Woody for the info)

Jim’s Convenience Store, 2801 LA Hwy 306, Des Allemands, St. Charles Parish – Store CLOSED (Thanks to Mike for the info)

We added TWO new ethanol FREE location in Louisiana recently:

Race Trac, 2713 Paris Road, Chalmette, St Bernard Parish – the station sells BOTH E0 and E10 fuel. 

Riverstop (Chevron Station), 31539 Hwy 22, Springfield, LA (Livingston Parish) – the station sells E0 and E10 both

NOTEIf any reader locates a store that is selling ethanol FREE gas but is not on our list, PLEASE send me the information asked for on the “Ethanol Facts” page so we can add it to the list!

We encourage all readers to patronize retailers who sell ethanol FREE gas.  If they are not profitable selling EO, they may convert to sell ethanol gas and stores with EO will become harder and harder to find.                                             ——————————————————————————————————- 

Have a GREAT week readers!  

“Pete”        

FUEL CELLS, ETHANOL, WIND PUSHING FOR RECOGNITION

FUEL CELLS, ETHANOL, WIND PUSHING FOR RECOGNITION

By Investor’s Business Daily – August 22, 2014

The boom in U.S. oil and natural gas production unleashed by new technologies has seized global attention. But makers of alternative energy products have also been grabbing attention among investors as developing technologies begin to mature.

The most high-profile stocks receiving that attention include electric-car maker Tesla Motors ( TSLA ) and solar-components producers such as First Solar ( FSLR ).

But investors are also supporting more diverse and developing technologies. Many of the firms working with those technologies are gathered in IBD’s Energy-Alternative/Other industry group. Most tend to be low priced and to face significant earnings and sales-growth challenges. More than a few are thinly traded. Combined, these factors mean that the stocks tend to be volatile and reactive.

But collectively, the 41 stocks in the group have gained 46% year-to-date. The group outperformed all others among the 197 industry groups that IBD tracks, pushing alternative energy into the No. 1 slot in IBD’s industry rankings.

Among the stocks generating the most attention is Latham, N.Y.- based Plug Power ( PLUG ). Plug makes electricity-producing fuel cells to replace lead-acid batteries in vehicles such as forklifts. Wal-Mart ( WMT ),Kroger ( KR ) and Procter & Gamble (PG) widely use the company’s hydrogen-powered alternative power. Earlier this month, Plug reported that sales jumped 131% and that the firm did better than expected at narrowing its losses in the second quarter.

Analysts still expect Plug to lose money this year and next year, though. The stock has been in a deep correction since March but is still up 277% since Dec. 31.

Fuel cells generate direct-current electricity not by using moving parts but by exposing a fuel — in most cases hydrogen — to a chemical process that frees electrons. The result is electrical current and essentially no emissions other than water and heat.

Into The Hydrogen Future

Fuel cells are earning credibility for stationary power generation and limited mobile settings, such as forklifts.

Among the Holy Grail markets for the technology: automakers. Companies including Volkswagen (VLKAY), BMW, Mercedes and Honda Motor (HMC) use Plug’s battery-replacement technologies in their forklifts and other factory equipment. They are also beginning to design fuel-cell technology made by other companies into their cars. Last year, General Motors (GM) and Honda announced plans to team up to develop hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

For many years, fuel cells were too large and their internal components too fragile for automotive applications. Today, the primary challenge lies in developing a network of hydrogen fueling locations able to support the cars, according to Dr. Scott Samuelsen, the director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine.

“Hydrogen, the fuel for fuel-cell vehicles, can be sourced locally and doesn’t depend on geopolitics,” he said. And it “is dramatically cheaper per mile driven vs. gasoline.”

California is leading the way in building out hydrogen fueling stations. Cars powered by hydrogen can be refueled quicker and can travel longer than their electric counterparts, Samuelson says.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has said very publicly that he doesn’t think fuel-cell technology belongs in cars, and says that it makes sense only in rockets.

The technology isn’t new. It was invented in the 1830s but sat on a back shelf until NASA started using it during the 1960s moon missions, according to Samuelsen.

Samuelsen believes that electric cars and fuel-cell vehicles might eventually complement one another. Electric vehicles could cover shorter trips, with fuel cells handling longer-distance needs.

Another hurdle that fuel cells face: “Politicians,” Samuelson said, “aren’t familiar enough with the technology.” They have claimed over the years that fuel cells cost too much, aren’t ready or are too good to be true. “But fuel cells are waiting there for anyone to capture in the next campaign.”

Internationally, Germany, Japan and South Korea are all embracing fuel-cell technology on a broad scale. In July, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy gave FuelCell Energy Solutions, aFuelCell Energy (FCEL) subsidiary, $6.6 million in grants for research to help boost the performance and power outputs of stationary fuel-cell stacks.

Bigger players are entering the field. Last month,General Electric (GE) opened a new fuel-cell testing and research facility in upstate New York. It expects to begin commercial production of systems running on natural gas and ranging up to 10 megawatts by 2017.

The Un-Alternative: Ethanol

In terms of fundamental performance,Pacific Ethanol (PEIX), which produces, transports and sells ethanol, leads the Alternative Energy group with a 99 Composite Rating. But the Sacramento, Calif.-based company faces issues with earnings growth in the future, and analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are expecting quarterly earnings to fall next year vs. this year.

Analysts expect peerGreen Plains (GPRE) to report earnings growth of 232% in its third quarter. Consensus views project a 202% EPS gain this year, followed by no gain in 2015.

Still, its shares have jumped over 120% since the start of the year.

Green Plains has 12 plants across the Midwest with total annual production capacity of 1 billion gallons of ethanol. The company has diversified beyond ethanol production in recent years, buying BlendStar, a biofuel terminal operator, in 2011 and investing in a joint venture to produce algae for fuel.

Ethanol, distilled primarily from corn in the U.S., isn’t just an alternative energy source. It helps gasoline burn cleaner and also extends the total gasoline supply. A federal mandate requires refiners to integrate an increasing amount of ethanol into the gasoline supply each year. The quota is just above 15 billion gallons this year, climbing toward a total target of 36 billion gallons by 2022.

Craig Irwin, Senior VP of equity research at Wedbush, puts actual use at around 13.6 billion gallons a year. “Ethanol is the oxidant of choice since it sells at a discount vs. gasoline, while other oxidants sell at a premium.”

Gasoline-powered vehicles are designed to use gasoline blended with 10% ethanol, called E10. Special flex-fuel cars can use gasoline with an ethanol content greater than 15%. Most of the higher-blend ethanol gasoline is found in the Midwest, where much of the corn used to make ethanol is grown.

Weakened demand, transportation bottlenecks and a years-long string of record corn crops has helped pull corn prices almost 40% below their last August highs, significantly aiding ethanol refiners’ bottom lines. Irwin expects them to fall even further; farmers are widely expected to produce a record corn harvest again this year.

In Brazil, the world’s second-largest producer of ethanol behind the U.S., ethanol comes from sugar cane — but the country has had a weak sugar-cane crop due to drought. And things aren’t looking too sweet for the crop next year, Irwin says, which is good news for U.S. ethanol exports.

“Ethanol has a lot of growth potential,” Irwin said. He also sees room for growth in biodiesel in the next several years.

The Answer, My Friend …

In June, Warren Buffet said that he was ready to double his stake in wind and solar power to $30 billion. Berkshire Hathaway ‘s (BRKA) MidAmerican Energy renewable-energy subsidiary plans to spend $1.9 billion to expand its wind fleet by the end of 2015.

Beyond Berkshire Hathaway, Pattern Energy (PEGI) operates and manages wind-power projects. It has been expanding its wind-farm holdings the past year, adding at least four wind projects to its portfolio since December.

The San Francisco-based operation has posted two profitable quarters since going public in June 2013. Shares are up only 3% for the year but 42% above their IPO price.

Overall, analysts and scientists are bullish on the alternative-energy industry. Irwin said, “All of the ethanol producers are going to make a great amount of money this year” on the huge corn crop expected from the Midwest.

New tanker car regulations could hinder ethanol transport, though Irwin doesn’t think it’s likely.

On the fuel-cell side, Samuelsen believes that as hydrogen charging stations become more common in California and the Northeast, the American public can fully realize the potential of hydrogen cars.

On the flip side, fuel-cell cars face competition from Musk’s Tesla and other plug-in electric vehicles that have been gaining market share in recent years.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S NEXT PHENOM

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S NEXT PHENOM

By David Ching – ESPN College Football – August 24, 2014

LSU freshman RB Leonard Fournette is ready to take the SEC by storm

BATON ROUGE, La. — Like many in his football-crazed hometown of New Orleans, Elliott Porter knew of Leonard Fournette before the young running back had even reached high school.

A superstar from the city’s rec leagues, Fournette’s legend had begun to spread years before he ever became the nation’s most heavily recruited football prospect.

“He and my brother were in the same grade and I went to one of his games. It was really a man amongst boys,” said Porter, a senior center who is now Fournette’s teammate at LSU. “He didn’t get much bigger from that because he was huge back then. I was like, ‘Really? That’s really an eighth-grade kid?’”

Since then, little has changed for Fournette. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 224 pounds, he’s still bigger than many of those he competes against. He’s still stronger than most, and LSU coach Les Miles has already speculated that the freshman might be the fastest player on an incredibly athletic roster.

No wonder Miles could barely contain his enthusiasm when the Tigers held their first preseason practice earlier this month. The Tigers worked out in only helmets and shorts at first, and Miles couldn’t wait to see how his prized recruit would fare once the team donned full pads later in the week.

“That’s kind of like having Tiger Woods on a golf course with a putter,” Miles said. “You just want to see him tee off, don’t you? Well, we have to put pads on before we can see him tee off.”

It wasn’t the first time Miles invoked a legend when talking about his young phenom. At SEC media days, he used Michael Jordan’s name when describing Fournette’s desire to be great.

LSU fans share Miles’ excitement, as the wait of more than six months to see Fournette is nearly over. The No. 13 Tigers face No. 14 Wisconsin on Aug. 30.

“That’s all I’ve been thinking about, just getting my first time playing at the collegiate level,” Fournette said. “So I’m just ready.”

By this point, Fournette is no stranger to this level of attention.

After his 255-yard effort in a nationally televised win against state powerhouse John Curtis Christian last season, he earned praise from New Orleans legends like Peyton Manning and Lil Wayne.

Fournette became the first player in Louisiana history to be named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year twice, rushing for 7,619 yards and 88 touchdowns in his career and garnering numerous Adrian Peterson comparisons along the way.

Arizona Cardinals star Tyrann Mathieu, who preceded Fournette at New Orleans’ St. Augustine High School and was a Heisman Trophy finalist as an LSU sophomore, told Sports Illustrated Fournette might also end up in New York City for the Heisman ceremony. As a freshman.

Nobody seems to doubt that Fournette will become a star at LSU. The only question is how quickly he will join the likes of Marshall Faulk, Warrick Dunn, Kevin Faulk, Matt Forte and Joe McKnight among the best backs to emerge from the talent-rich state of Louisiana.

“The fact that he’s got all this stuff about him, ESPN doing specials on him, people writing books about him — I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening — it’s a lot of pressure,” said LSU fullback Connor Neighbors, whom Fournette listed as one of his mentors on the team, along with senior tailbacks Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard. “Sometimes you’ve just got to put that behind you, and he’s done that.”

The enormous hype surrounding his debut does not seem to have fazed the freshman at all. As has been the case since his rec-league days, everyone around Fournette offers overflowing praise about his capabilities, and yet he isn’t particularly interested in receiving extra attention. He even concedes he would prefer to follow Magee and Hilliard than start immediately.

“You look at how he has handled the hype and you see him laugh and wrestle and talk to the guys, there’s no prima donna about him,” LSU running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson said. “He’s a stone-cold football player who just wants to enjoy his college experience.”

LSU’s coaches expected that team-first attitude from Fournette.

“No. 1, he is everything we thought he was and then some,” said Cam Cameron, entering his second season as LSU’s offensive coordinator after 11 years as a coordinator and head coach in the NFL. “But very seldom do you see guys with that kind of talent have that kind of maturity at an early age and be that team-oriented. You’re getting that much praise and you may be as much of a team guy as anybody out there. That’s a little uncommon at that age, but I think when you meet his parents and meet his brother, you can see why he’s the way he is.

“He’s just got to keep doing what he’s doing: learn our system and start learning SEC defenses, understand how people are going to come after him, and that’s going to be all part of his maturation process as a runner.”

Fournette credits his mother, Lory, for her regular reminders about the value of humility.

“My mother, she’s a church-going woman,” Fournette said. “She texts me a scripture every night and she’s kind of the one that helps me a lot. ‘Stay humble. Keep God first, Leonard, and everything’s going to be all right.’ That’s an everyday thing from her. Even if she doesn’t call me, she’ll text me, and if she doesn’t text me, she’ll call me and give me some encouraging words.”

That humility has helped the blue-chip freshman realize he is not yet a complete player, Cameron said. His running ability is one thing, and that’s what might someday make Fournette a millionaire in the NFL, but he still must work on his blocking, route-running skills and knowledge of LSU’s offense.

Miles has joked that Fournette’s recruitment started in the “second semester in the third-grade year.” The Wisconsin game is the next chapter in the Legend of Leonard, where anything less than immediate dominance would disappoint the many Louisianans who believe Fournette might be the most talented player in state football history.

Maybe Fournette will share time in LSU’s backfield. The Tigers have established a pattern under Miles of splitting carries, after all. And maybe he still must pick up some of the position’s finer points. But it’s likely only a matter of time before Fournette emerges as the superstar everyone expects.

“There’s nothing that he’s done that we hadn’t seen on tape,” Cameron said. “He’s like a lot of guys here and a lot of guys in the state of Louisiana: They don’t get tired. Most 235-pound running backs get tired. This guy can run all day. … I knew he was smart, and he’s smart. I knew he was tough, and he’s tough. I knew he loved football, and he loves football. But I didn’t know that he could just run all day.”

 

Letter to CEO’s of Oil Refineries in Louisiana

Here is a letter which I mailed to the CEO’s of ALL oil refining companies which operate refineries in Louisiana.  In this letter, I am urging them to please provide more conventional, non ethanol gasoline to Louisiana consumers.

“Pete”

—————————————————————————————————

                                                                                         Alton J. Landry 

                                                                                         LaPlace, LA 70068

August 29, 2014

 

Mr. Marvin E. Odum – Director, Shell Oil Company USA

Mr. Rex W. Tillerson – CEO,  Exxon/Mobil Corporation

Mr. Lee M. Tillman – CEO, Marathon Oil Corporation

Mr. Ryan M. Lance – CEO, ConocoPhillips Oil Company

Mr. Joseph W. Gorder – CEO, Valero Refining Corporation

Mr. Daniel R. Robinson – CEO, Placid Refining Company, LLC

Mr. Nelson P. Martinez – CEO, Citgo Petroleum Corporation

RE:  NON ETHANOL GAS IN LOUISIANA DISAPPEARING

Gentlemen:

I am writing to each of the major gasoline producing refinery CEO’s which have crude oil refining facilities in Louisiana to plead with you to help us with more availability of conventional, non ethanol gasoline in Louisiana.

Approximately three years ago, there were five (5) refineries in Louisiana that manufactured and sold non ethanol gasoline to service stations through the State’s 64 Parishes.  These were Murphy Oil Refinery in Chalmette, Chalmette Refining in Chalmette, Marathon Oil Company in Garyville, Placid Oil Company in Port Allen and ConocoPhillips Oil Refinery in Westlake.  These refineries provided an ample volume of non ethanol gas to meet consumer’s needs throughout Louisiana.  HOWEVER, since that time, Valero purchased Murphy Oil in Chalmette and now manufacture only ethanol fuels at that facility, Chalmette Refining discontinued the manufacture and sale of non ethanol gas from their refinery in early June and lastly, Marathon Oil discontinued the manufacture and sale of non ethanol gas from their Garyville refinery in mid 2012 (I am told that some 90 grade non ethanol gas may be available upon request).   That leaves ONLY the small Placid Refinery in Port Allen and the ConocoPhillips Refinery in Westlake that are continuing to supply Louisiana consumers with non ethanol fuel.  We sincerely THANK these two refineries and their management for continuing to supply Louisiana consumers with ‘good gas’!  But, these two refineries alone cannot supply the needs of south, southeast and north Louisiana due to capacity of geographical limitations.  Trucking non ethanol gas from Westlake to north Louisiana would make it far too expensive.  But, it could be pipelined to north Louisiana like Marathon did.

Letter to Louisiana Oil Refinery CEOs                                             Page 2 of 5

I am a retired Chemist, having worked over 32 years in the oil and petrochemical industry.  Soon after ethanol fuels began showing up in Louisiana, I began investigating issues associated with ethanol fuels.  I later created a website to communicate ethanol fuel issues to Louisiana consumers.  I also created a list of all retail service stations in Louisiana which sold non ethanol gasoline to make it easier for readers to locate stations that sold non ethanol gas in their Parishes.  Last year I also created a list for Mississippi.  When all the five refineries I mentioned above were selling non ethanol gasoline, I had a total of over 1,200 stations throughout Louisiana’s 64 Parishes that sold non ethanol gasoline on my website list.  Marathon Oil was the major supplier of ‘E0’ fuel in south and north Louisiana at that time.  Since Marathon discontinued the sale of EO, there are only a few dozen  stations in North Louisiana that continue to sell EO.  Now, with the announcement of Chalmette Refining, the southeast Louisiana area has also lost several hundred or more stations that are able to continue to offer E0.  I am in the process of updating my Louisiana list of retail stations that offer non ethanol gasoline.  When I am completed, it appears we will have less than 600 stations in all of Louisiana offering non ethanol gasoline. Some Parishes have NONE!  The Louisiana moniker of “The Sportsman Paradise” is in danger of becoming “The Sportsman Graveyard” as I told the Manager of Chalmette Refining in a letter I wrote to him in May of this year after they made their announcement.

Mr. Wade Maxwell, the Manager of Chalmette Refining in Chalmette cited the Federal EPA Renewal Fuel Standard (RFS) as the primary reason for their decision to discontinue the manufacture and sale of non ethanol gasoline.  He claims this forced them to stop. I would ask Mr. Maxwell and each of you then, aren’t Placid Refining and ConocoPhillips subject to the SAME EPA, RFS regulations that you are?  How is it that they can continue to offer non ethanol gas to Louisiana consumers but you either can’t or won’t?

In 2009, a close friend and I drove to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the NCAA Baseball College World Series.  While in Omaha, we were surprised to learn that every gas station we visited to re-fuel my friend’s car offered consumers the choice of either ethanol or non ethanol gasoline.  This was true of ALL major branded stations and also non branded ones.  When we returned to LaPlace after our trip, I called and spoke with the Nebraska Fuel Director. I asked if there was a State law in Nebraska that required that all retail service stations sell non ethanol gasoline.  He said there was NOT such a law, but that ALL stations in the State offered their consumers a choice of either fuel.  I called the Nebraska fuels division a few weeks ago and they confirmed to me that they continue this practice (he mentioned that E0 usually sold at about $0.15 – 0.20/gallon higher than E10). He also mentioned that I should speak with the Iowa fuel division as he thought they did the same thing.  I later spoke with the Iowa fuel director also.  He confirmed that Iowa, like Nebraska also offers consumers a choice of ethanol or non ethanol fuel at just about every retail station in the State.  An interesting point is that NEITHER Nebraska nor Iowa has a single oil refinery in their States!  They both told me that they receive their fuels via pipelines (ONLY non ethanol gasoline can be shipped via pipeline as you are aware due to the corrosive properties of

Letter to Louisiana Oil Refinery CEOs                                             Page 3 of 5

ethanol fuels) at terminals throughout their States.  They have blending facilities at these terminals where they blend various grades of ethanol gasoline AND they also blend 84 octane conventional with 90 octane conventional to make 87 octane conventional, non ethanol gasoline.   They told me they receive their gasoline via pipelines from refineries in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.  Aren’t these States subject to the same EPA RFS Federal regulations that you are?  How is it, then that they can offer consumers conventional non ethanol gasoline, not only at a few service stations, but at ALL stations in their States.  If Nebraska and Iowa, with NO oil refineries in their States, and the LARGEST volume ethanol manufacturers in the Country can do it, WHY CAN’T YOU?  I would appreciate if you gentlemen could explain to us how is it that your refineries CANNOT or WILL NOT do this in Louisiana?  I would like to forward your explanation for your unwillingness to supply Louisiana consumers with non ethanol fuels to our Louisiana U.S. Senators and Representatives in Washington.

Despite what the EPA and/or manufacturers of off road and small engines would lead you to believe, ethanol fuels, even at the 10% level continue to cause EXTENSIVE damage to these engines!  While most consumers seem to experience relatively few problems with 10% ethanol fuels in their cars and pickup trucks (except for the mileage loss), the same CANNOT be said of marine engines, motorcycles, 4 wheelers, jet skis, snow mobiles, chain saws, lawn and garden tools and gasoline powered home generators.  Since consumers drive their vehicles often and refuel on a relatively short interval, they don’t experience the poor shelf life issues associated with ethanol fuels. Ethanol laced fuels oxidize and began to deteriorate in as little as 90 days!  That is why when lawn and garden tools in ethanol gas use which are put up for the winter months, these engines will NOT start in the spring when they are needed. Carburetors foul as the ethanol gasoline turns into a “jello type substance”.  I show consumers pictures of this damage when I give ethanol gasoline presentations throughout Louisiana.

As you know, south Louisiana is highly susceptible to hurricanes.  In 2012, Hurricane Isaac hit south Louisiana and flooded over 6,000 homes in St. John Parish where I live.  Two weeks before the hurricane’s path was realized, I took my garden tiller out of storage to till a few rows in my small home vegetable garden to prepare for planting my fall crops.  When I pulled the recoil to start the engine, the recoil rope broke. I took the tiller to a small engine repair shop near my home. When I entered the shop yard, I counted over 50 gas powered home generators in his yard awaiting repairs.  The shop owner told me that customers began flooding him with request to repair their generators when the path of the hurricane became known since their generators would NOT start.  The last time they used them in the last power outage with ethanol gasoline and they would now NOT start.  He had to hire extra workers (in addition to his normal staff of four) to take the carburetors apart and clean and re-assemble them as quickly as possible so the customers would have the generators available when power was lost from this hurricane.  And, this was just ONE repair shop. This is just another example of the problems we experience in Louisiana, particularly in south Louisiana when conventional, non ethanol gasoline is not readily available.

Letter to Louisiana Oil Refinery CEOs                                             Page 4 of 5

Most boat owners will NOT knowingly use ethanol fuel in their marine engines either.  Many boat owners experienced serious and very costly engine damages before they learned years ago that ethanol fuel caused the damage.  But, now that fewer and fewer non ethanol stations are available, I fear mariners will again be seeing costly engine damages if they are forced to use E10 in their marine engines.  There are currently over 350,000 registered boats in Louisiana, not including large diesel tug and crew boats.

The Chalmette Refinery management indicated in a reply to a letter which I wrote them in May of this year when they announced they would discontinue the sale of non ethanol gas that other suppliers would make up the difference from the loss from their refinery.  I’m not sure if the Chalmette Refining (and ExxonMobil) management just don’t realize that with ONLY the small Placid Refinery (65,000 bbls/day capacity compared to 190,000 bbls/day at Chalmette Refining) in Port Allen is supplying non ethanol gas in southeast Louisiana, there is NO WAY Placid alone can supply all the retail stations that Chalmette Refining was supplying.   Not only are many, many stations therefore having to switch to “corn gas” because they can no longer get non ethanol gasoline, but this is also forcing some older small grocery and convenience stores out of the gasoline sales business since some of these have grandfathered underground fuel storage tanks and older pumps which are NOT compatible with ethanol fuels.  Therefore, if they can no longer get non ethanol gasoline, they are forced out of the gas sales business.

In conclusion, we would all appreciate an explanation why your refineries either CANNOT or CHOOSE NOT to supply non ethanol fuel to Louisiana consumers like your brethren are doing in Nebraska and Iowa.  It is my understanding that ONLY the Baton Rouge area in Louisiana is in an EPA ozone non-compliance area, so that argument cannot be used elsewhere in the State.  Even then, there are several dozen non ethanol locations in the Baton Rouge and surrounding area.

If you were to provide even as little as 5% of your total gasoline sales as non ethanol gas, we would not have the growing problem we are having in Louisiana.  And, I cannot accept the reason is that it is too complex to handle both fuels.  That’s one of the reasons the management of Marathon Refinery gave us when they discontinues the sale on non ethanol gas in 2012, despite the fact that they did it for years before stopping E0 sales in mid 2012.  AND, I also don’t believe you can use the EPA’s “RIN” cost as an argument either.  There were NO objections from any of you when you received the tax payer funded Federal Government’s $0.45/gallon blend tax credit from 2007 until 2012 to blend ethanol fuels, providing all U.S. refineries collectively with over $13 Billion/year in tax credits just to blend ethanol fuels.  Whatever capital costs you incurred to construct ethanol storage and blending facilities at your refineries were most likely offset in the first year the tax credits you received.

We continue to exert pressure on our Louisiana U. S. Congressional delegation to either REPEAL the Renewal Fuel Standard or significantly revise it.  Meanwhile, we beg you to help us by providing more non ethanol gasoline to

Letter to Louisiana Oil Refinery CEOs                                             Page 5 of 5

Louisiana service stations,  especially in south, southeast and north Louisiana where we have lost the greatest number of non ethanol stations.

If you will note in my “Pete’s Bio” page of my website that I testified before two Louisiana Legislative Committees several years ago to raise Legislators awareness and attention to the possibility of 15% ethanol fuels appearing in Louisiana.  My website is “PeteLandrysRealGas.com”.  I understand that most of you are opposed to the higher ethanol blends due to liability issues with older vehicles which are not “FLEX” designed vehicles which can tolerate the corrosive properties of ethanol fuels.  E10 fuel is bad enough for off road engines, but E15 would be just totally devastating to Louisiana.  Not one off road engine can operate on this fuel!  So, without non ethanol gasoline availability, what would consumers and homeowners do if E15 were to replace E10?

I apologize for the length of this letter, but there were so many issues I wanted to discuss that it required greater length than I expected.

I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply to my question as to why you cannot or will not supply more non ethanol gasoline to Louisiana service stations as your fellow refiners are doing in Nebraska and Iowa.

Do not hesitate to call me should you have any questions.

Sincerely,

 

Alton “Pete” Landry

http://www.PeteLandrysRealGas.com

cc:  Honorable Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Senator David Vitter

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Representative Steve Scalise

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Representative John Fleming

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Representative Vance M. McAllister

Honorable Louisiana U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy

 

Mr. Wade Maxwell – Manager Chalmette Refining

TEXAS ANGLER SNARES 14.66-POUND MONSTER AT TOLEDO BEND

TEXAS ANGLER SNARES 14.66-POUND MONSTER AT TOLEDO BEND

By Chris Berzas – Louisiana Sportsman.com – August 25, 2014

No one would have ever expected that a spur-of-the-moment scouting trip at Toledo Bend would have resulted in catching a monster bass in the sizzling heat of Saturday afternoon.

But Randy Cagle recently had a jack plate gauge added to his boat, and he wanted to get out there and see how it would function on Toledo Bend prior to an upcoming tournament.

The 59-year-old Woodville, Texas angler was also bent on getting his wife, Judy, out of the house Saturday afternoon as his scouting companion.

“We put in at 944 Park on the Texas side and went to Housen,” Cagle said. “I had fished there a couple of weeks before with my high school team, and one of the boys broke off on a large fish.”

The husband and wife team settled on fishing submerged hydrilla in 15 feet of water.

Read full article here:  www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=7062

WHY HIGH GAS PRICES MEAN HIGH BEEF PRICES

WHY HIGH GAS PRICES MEAN HIGH BEEF PRICES

By Daniel Goldstein – The Wall Street Journal/Market Watch – June 19, 2014

If you think high oil prices only lead to pain at the pump, check your grocery bill the next time you buy some burgers or steaks.

Herd of Cattle

Oil prices are heading back over $100 a barrel thanks to unrest in Iraq, which produces about 3 million barrels a day of oil, the eighth biggest producer in the world, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While the U.S. imported just 341,000 barrels of oil a day from Iraq in 2013, out of total daily imports of 7.6 million barrels, the EIA said, it’s the fear of that nation’s supply of oil being offline for the entire world that’s sending prices higher. Soaring oil prices mean higher gasoline and diesel prices, and U.S. gasoline prices last month were already at their highest monthly average ($3.68 a gallon) since May 2012. Same with diesel, which has a monthly average price of $3.94 a gallon, the highest in two years.

So why do rising gasoline prices hurt more at the checkout line when it’s time to barbecue?

One word. Corn.

In part you can thank (or blame) the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) , which was created by Congress in 2005 and expanded in 2007; it required refiners to blend renewable fuels such as corn-based ethanol with gasoline, starting with 7.5 billion gallons of blended fuels by 2012 and rising to 36 billion by 2022.

About 40 % of the U.S. corn crop, 4.4 billion bushels worth, went to feed livestock in 2012. At the same time, about 31%, or 3.5 billion bushels, went to ethanol production, according to the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Agriculture Department. By comparison, just under a billion bushels went to ethanol production in 2002, the NCGA said.

Read full article here:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-high-gas-prices-mean-high-beef-prices-2014-06-18?mod=wsj_share_tweet

 

EPA SENDS BIOFUEL MANDATES TO WHITE HOUSE

EPA SENDS BIOFUEL MANDATES TO WHITE HOUSE

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy – Fuel Fix – August 22, 2014

WASHINGTON The White House is now reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s planned quotas for renewable fuels, a major milestone in the long path to setting this year’s biofuel mandates.

For now, at least, the targets are under wraps, as the Office of Management and Budget conducts a final interagency review and gives refiners, biofuel producers and other stakeholders one last chance to weigh in on the mandates.

Although the agency reviews can span 90 days, the final quotas appear likely to be issued sooner. Even under the most optimistic timetable — a late September release — the volume mandates would still be coming out nearly a year after the Nov. 30, 2013 deadline the EPA was supposed to meet under federal law.

Volatility: Oil group says delays on biofuel quotas risk gas price swings

A statute known as the “Renewable Fuel Standard” forces U.S. refiners to incorporate an annually increasing amount of biofuels into the nation’s diesel and gasoline supply but tasks the Environmental Protection Agency with setting each year’s specific volume obligations.

The EPA last year proposed slashing the amount of renewable fuel required for 2014 to 15.2 billion gallons, some 3 billion gallons below the amount prescribed in federal statutes. Under the EPA proposal, up to 13.01 billion gallons of the required renewable fuel could come from traditional corn-based ethanol with 2.2 billion gallons coming from advanced biofuels.

But Obama administration officials have hinted that the final number could climb, partly because gasoline consumption and the amount of vehicle miles driven have also risen since the proposal was unveiled last year. One floated target would raise the quota for ethanol, or conventional renewable fuel, to 13.6 billion gallons.

The agency also could boost the overall target and hike the individual quotas for other categories, including cellulosic biofuels.

Corn Belt lawmakers and biofuel producers have implored the Obama administration to reverse course from the original proposal and boost the quotas, which help deliver income to corn growers in the heartland.

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said in a statement that the proposed reduction “would be detrimental to the biofuels industry, the American consumer and our environment.” The final mandates should move “our nation forward on the adoption of renewable fuels, not backwards.”

Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen said the country’s commitment to greener, cleaner-burning transportation fuels was at stake.

“This decision is about more than targets and gallons, it is about a rationale that places highest importance on the long-term strength of this country and not the bottom line of oil companies,” Dinneen said in a statement.

Oil industry leaders and their allies on Capitol Hill say the EPA’s initial proposal still put refiners uncomfortably close to a “blend wall,” a point where they would be forced to mix a higher proportion of ethanol into fuel than the 10 percent approved for use in all cars and trucks.

They have called on Congress to repeal the renewable fuel standard, and while legislation to scrap the mandate or revamp it has stalled this election year, any significant quota boost could create new momentum on the issue.

Bob Greco, director of the American Petroleum Institute’s downstream group, urged the EPA to get to work on the 2015 renewable fuel proposal so that it can be finalized by the Nov. 30 deadline.

“Already more than eight months late, this year’s RFS requirements are the most delayed in the history of the program,” Greco said in a statement. “Further delays could harm consumers by driving up compliance costs and make it harder to produce the fuels Americans need.”

IOWA SENATE: ETHANOL FUELS A CLASH IN CORN COUNTRY

IOWA SENATE: ETHANOL FUELS A CLASH IN CORN COUNTRY

By Erica Martinson – Politico – July 31, 2014

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Rep. Bruce Braley is betting the farm on corn — and Democrats’ hold on the Senate may be in danger if he’s wrong.

The Iowan is touting federal support for ethanol while competing in one of 2014’s most critical Senate contests — and he’s banking on his ability to champion his state’s cause in D.C., where the corn industry’s political power has waned. While critics ranging from environmentalists to anti-subsidy fiscal conservatives have turned against ethanol, Braley is busy posing at gas stations that sell the corn-based biofuel, campaigning with farmers and pressuring EPA to protect the federal mandate that guarantees corn’s role in the U.S. fuel supply.

His Republican opponent, state Sen. Joni Ernst, has been more elusive on the issue — saying she “philosophically” opposes government meddling in markets but promising to protect EPA’s ethanol program until all other subsidies are repealed. That sounds like waffling to Braley supporters, an impression Ernst has tried to counteract with some pro-ethanol rhetoric this week.

Less-than-overwhelming enthusiasm for EPA’s ethanol mandate is a rare stance for any candidate in Iowa, from either party, so a perception that Ernst is wobbly on biofuels would offer an advantage to Braley. Ernst’s opponents have also attacked her for planning to attend a Washington fundraiser hosted by the oil industry, one of ethanol’s biggest opponents.

But Braley, whose campaign leans heavily on his influence in Washington, faces pressure to show he can deliver. A key test is expected in the coming weeks, when EPA announces a decision that could make or break the federal mandate that requires gasoline refiners to blend ethanol into their fuel.

People in the home-grown industry agree that ethanol looms large here, though many are still deciding where they think Ernst stands.

“I think renewable fuels can be a big issue in the race,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Shaw, who lost a Republican House primary in Iowa earlier this year, says about 10,000 households in the state are directly invested in or employed by the renewable fuels industry, and nearly 300,000 Iowans are “pretty much directly engaged in agriculture,” he said. “That’s a lot of voters.”

“If you can’t find a senator in Iowa that supports ethanol, you’ve got a serious problem,” said Pam Johnson, a sixth-generation farmer in northern Iowa and chairwoman of the corn board at the National Corn Growers Association.

Braley expects Iowa voters to pay close attention to the candidates’ stances on the ethanol program, known as the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“There’s a clear choice,” Braley said in an interview after giving a campaign speech at a gas station in Marion, just outside Cedar Rapids — filled, like many gas stations here, with high-ethanol blends not usually found inside the Beltway. “My opponent, she is philosophically opposed to the Renewable Fuel Standard. I have been a strong supporter since I was elected to Congress.”

Ernst, meanwhile, insists she’d defend the program too — while sticking to her tea-party opposition to the government interfering in business.

“While I do not believe the government should pick winners and losers in our economy, and from a philosophical standpoint I do not believe in taxpayer subsidies, I do believe that if we were to end subsidies, it would have to be done across the board, for every sector at the exact same time — meaning until and unless that day comes, I will passionately stand in defense of RFS and other related programs,” Ernst said in response to written questions from POLITICO.

Ernst has also tried other ways to burnish her agricultural cred, including boasting of her experience castrating hogs.

Adding to the drama is the fact that EPA is way behind schedule in making its decision on the ethanol program, which was legally due last November and was later expected to come in June.

The agency says it makes such decisions based on the merits, not politics. But whatever the cause of the delay, many observers note that the ruling has been pushed into a crucial stretch of the political calendar.

“That’s got to be on the minds of the White House,” said Eric Washburn, an attorney with the firm Bracewell & Giuliani who represents refiners and environmentalists opposed to the mandate. “And frankly, Iowa is one of the very few states where people actually vote on biofuels policy.”

The politics of corn

Obama carried Iowa by almost 6 points in 2012, and Braley had a clear lead just a few months ago in the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. But the congressman has stumbled with some self-inflicted gaffes, including dismissing beloved Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa who doesn’t have a law degree” — a videotaped statement now airing on a veritable loop in Iowa television ads. Lately, Braley has reshuffled his campaign staff while watching the race tighten to a toss-up in the polls.

At the same time, Iowa’s corn-based fuel seems to have lost much of its political heft in Washington, despite the state’s continued draw for presidential hopefuls.

Corn was on an upswing in 2005, when Congress created the mandate, and in 2007, when lawmakers expanded it to its current form, with the expectation that EPA would make refiners use ever-growing amounts of ethanol every year. Back then, oil imports were soaring, gasoline demand was expected to continue to grow, and supporters saw ethanol as a tool for reducing the United States’ reliance on the Middle East while curbing greenhouse gases.

But since then, the North American energy boom has cut the need for Mideast oil, and some green groups have vocally abandoned their support for corn ethanol, blaming the crop for polluting water supplies, wiping out conservation land and even increasing carbon emissions. (Some environmentalists still hold out hope for more “advanced” forms of ethanol, such as those made from corn husks or switch grass.) Pig and cow farmers argue that ethanol drives up the price of their feed, chain restaurateurs complain it makes eating out more expensive, and the powerful oil industry warns that the mandate will drive up gasoline prices.

“Corn ethanol’s brand has been seriously dented in the last 18 months,” said Craig Cox, director of the Ames, Iowa, office of the Environmental Working Group, an environmental organization that opposes the mandate as it’s now structured. “The industry is still very politically well-connected, especially in the Midwest … but it certainly doesn’t occupy the same sort of pedestal that it occupied two years ago.”

Last fall, EPA gave the ethanol industry a scare that showed how much clout corn has lost: For the first time, the agency proposed to cut the amount of ethanol that gasoline refiners must use this year. Biofuel supporters said the move could put a permanent chill in their industry, which they say still provides a much-needed alternative to petroleum.

After much lobbying since then, most observers expect EPA to lessen the blow when it issues a final rule, though it’s unclear how much.

The outcome means economic life and death in Iowa, Braley says. He also points out that support for the mandate has traditionally been a bipartisan cause in Iowa, and that he and Republican Gov. Terry Branstad both championed the program at an EPA hearing in December.

Iowa has 41 ethanol plants and 14 biodiesel plants, plus several cellulosic operations in the beginning stages of opening.

“Voters in Iowa look at where I stand on this issue and where my opponent stands, who’s supporting me in this campaign and who’s supporting [Ernst],” Braley said.

Braley is also finding other ways to champion ethanol, one of his top three issues along with protecting Social Security and raising the minimum wage. On a hot July morning at the Marion gas station, he touted a bill he’s sponsoring that would require “country of origin” labels at the pumps, like the kind now required for T-shirts or produce.

Iowans say wavering on corn ethanol once would have been certain political suicide in a state where 90 percent of the land is farm acreage. So Braley has sought to capitalize on Ernst’s expressed qualms about big government, portraying her as someone Iowans can’t trust for fight for them.

Ernst’s statements have been “a surprise to us because I know she’s a farm gal, and she says she’s for things that Iowa’s for,” said Tom Brooks, general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel and treasurer of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. He said that Ernst’s “philosophical” statements offer “confusing or conflicting signals.”

“I would say most Iowa voters, especially in the rural areas, which obviously candidate Ernst is trying to get … if she’s not for the RFS, I would say that probably is not going to be something favorable for her,” Brooks said.

‘Voted with us every time’

Ernst, who says she “grew up walking beans, canning food and feeding hogs on our family farm,” wants Iowa growers to know she’s one of them.

“As a rural candidate, the members of Iowa’s agricultural community are more to me than just a significant part of our state’s economy — they are also my neighbors, friends and family,” she said in a written response to questions. “Renewable fuels are important to our farmers, our communities, and our state.”

Ernst has also attacked Obama’s agenda on other fronts that resonate in farm country. She criticizes a proposed EPA water rule that opponents claim would seize control of ditches and farm ponds, and she’s called for cutting off the agency’s funding. Republicans also portray Braley as anti-farmer, seizing on flaps like his Grassley diss, as well as an apparent dispute between Braley and his neighbors over trespassing chickens.

Until recently, Ernst has said little about the ethanol mandate in her campaign. But she offered Braley an opening when she filled out a state Farm Bureau survey during the primaries.

Ernst checked “yes” in favor of the ethanol mandate, as well on renewing tax credits for Iowa’s cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and wind energy industries. But she appended a cover letter saying she is “philosophically opposed to government subsidies and influences on the private marketplace,” though adding her caveat that she would defend the ethanol program as long as other government subsidies exist.

Iowa Democratic strategist Jeff Link said Ernst’s words should offer plenty of doubts for ethanol supporters.

“If you have a philosophical opposition to something, are you really going to draw a line in the sand if there’s a move to try to kill the Renewable Fuel Standard?” he asked. “How hard are you going to work for something you are opposed to?”

Braley, meanwhile, has detailed his aggressive efforts to get the administration to defend the mandate, including meetings with White House advisers and his delivery of a petition with 100,000 signatures to the EPA. “In fact, there has been no bigger advocate in the U.S. House for the RFS than me,” he wrote in his own Farm Bureau questionnaire.

The Democrat’s supporters had a chance to advance their message while Ernst spent much of July fulfilling Army National Guard duty in Wisconsin. While she was gone, Iowans got a heavy dose of ads describing her as not on board with biofuels.

When she returned, Ernst tried to counteract that message, telling POLITICO this week she that has written to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging her not to cut the ethanol mandate.

Ernst’s campaign also pointed to her history of voting in favor of the ethanol industry in the state Senate. In 2011, 2013 and 2014, she voted for bills that provided tax credits and other support for ethanol and biodiesel industries. She also voted for and co-sponsored two “statements” from the Senate urging the federal government to support renewable fuels and the ethanol mandate.

“She’s voted with us every time,” Shaw said. Braley also has “voted with us every time we’ve asked him to,” Shaw said. “He’s been a strong leader on renewable fuels issues out there.”

The two candidates are far apart on many issues, and an influx of outside spending is leading to a boom in negative ads.

Conservative PACs have spent nearly $1.7 million supporting Ernst, with cash coming from American Crossroads, American Heartland PAC, Citizens United, Conservative Majority Fund, the National Rifle Association, Reclaim America PAC, Senate Conservatives Action, Senate Conservatives Fund, Susan B. Anthony List, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, the U.S Chamber of Commerce and Vote to Reduce Debt, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Much of that cash was for her GOP primary campaign.

She has also gotten support from ads aired by Americans for Prosperity and other nonprofits that have not yet had to disclose their spending.

A smaller group of liberal and mostly environmental PACs has turned out nearly $2.9 million for Braley, all of it for the general election, including the Environmental Defense Action Fund, the League Of Conservation Voters, billionaire Tom Steyer’s Next Gen Climate Action, Senate Majority PAC and the Sierra Club.

While Republicans try to paint Braley as a trial lawyer who looks down on farmers, his supporters are doing everything they can to tie Ernst to the oil industry and the Koch brothers.

Americans United for Change is running a radio ad this week saying Ernst is in cahoots with “Big Oil,” which is “spending millions of dollars to put Iowa ethanol out of business,” and pointing to the Washington fundraiser that ExxonMobil’s PAC and the American Petroleum Institute PAC hosted for Ernst on Wednesday.

Another ad by the League of Conservation Voters hit Ernst for threatening to shut down the EPA. But she doesn’t back down from attacking the agency.

“I believe the EPA has put forth extensive rules and regulations that are harmful, overreaching, and ultimately deal with matters that generally can be handled at the state and local level,” Ernst said when asked if she believes the agency should be shut down. “Certainly some functions and programs, like the RFS, must continue at the federal level, but many of those could be handled by other existing agencies.”

Back in Washington

While everyone waits for EPA’s announcement on the mandate, White House adviser John Podesta met with pro-ethanol senators last week to hear out their concerns. The administration made no announcements afterward, although Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said he came out of the meeting expecting to see EPA increase the amount of ethanol that refiners will have to use — an outcome the agency has fairly well telegraphed in recent months.

What’s unclear is whether any increase would be big enough to assuage ethanol producers’ fears for their future.

Washburn, the attorney from the anti-mandate side, argues that the administration is caught in a squeeze between two priorities: Obama’s climate agenda and Democrats’ desire to keep the Senate.

“Podesta is now confronted with two contradictory objectives,” he said. “One is to try and help the fortunes of people like Braley,” and the other to push for further reductions in greenhouse gases.

The big question is when EPA will act. It already gave refiners until Sept. 30 to meet last year’s ethanol mandate, which means it has essentially given itself until then to set the final 2014 numbers.

“If the decision goes our way, we want it as soon as possible,” said Link, the Democratic strategist. “But I don’t think it’s set in stone yet.”

Shaw says he’s not sure what EPA’s upcoming decision will mean for election day, but he suspects Braley may not get as much of a bump as some in Washington hypothesize.

“I hope I’m proven wrong,” Shaw said. “But I expect that most of our industry will be disappointed when the final rule comes out.”

LSU JOINS FAN EXPERIENCE ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

LSU JOINS FAN EXPERIENCE ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

By Kent Lowe/Sr. Associate SID – LSU Sports.net – August 22, 2014

The new south end of Tiger Stadium will open on Sept 6.

The new south end of Tiger Stadium will open on Sept 6.

BATON ROUGE New HD video and LED message boards, an enhanced capability for mobile phone usage, and new traffic flow patterns highlight the improved experience that Tiger fans will enjoy for the first time when the 2014 LSU football season begins. 

It’s all part of a league-wide initiative to enhance the fan experience going into this football season. For LSU, the football season is just the first-step in a multi-sport, multi-year process to improve the fan experience in Tiger venues.

“SEC fans are the most passionate and loyal fans in the country,” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive.  “Our institutions have made it a priority to engage their fans in a way that will enhance their in-game enjoyment and satisfaction.  I salute our schools for being bold in addressing the fan experience and recognizing that increased attention to fans is critical to the continued success of our league.”

Of course, the newest feature of LSU’s venerable Tiger Stadium is the South end zone addition which adds suites, club areas and seating that brings the capacity of the historic venue to 102,321 for the 2014 season.

That South end zone features several new fan amenities including two new video boards that each measure 40’ x 70’. Both will bring high definition coverage of the games and is part of the new video equipment package and control rooms that are also being built for LSU’s part in the SEC Network.

The video board in the North end zone will also have the also have the latest HD capabilities and LSU Athletics has worked with LSU Sports Properties and its corporate sponsors to enhance the available viewing area on the North screen for the 2014 season.

All three boards will have the capability to now show multiple angles of plays when replays are called for by board producers.

Research done by the SEC shows that fans expect a high quality video experience in the stadium. At least six SEC schools are putting added emphasis to that area in 2014, including improvements to video elements and production as well as the addition of the HD boards.

The SEC has initiated rules changes that allow fans to see in-stadium replays of officials’ reviews and increase in-game opportunities for musical entertainment, and in 2014 ESPN is partnering with the SEC to provide video highlights to schools to utilize on stadium video boards for in-game highlights and updates for fans.

LSU with the change in the SEC music policy will use PA music to supplement the traditional times when the outstanding “Golden Band From Tigerland” is not playing.

LSU has also added two LED Fascia display boards in the south end zone and new boards have replaced the original boards that have operated for the last few seasons in the east and west facades of Tiger Stadium.

With the installation of the new boards, each will have the capability to operate independently with updated scores being featured throughout the game on one of the south fascia displays and updated stats featured on one of the displays as well. Also for the first time since the video boards were originally put up in both end zones in 1999, there will be a return to open captioning of plays on the boards.

“With the expansion of the south end zone and the additions of the new video and fascia displays, we really want this to be a special year for Tiger fans when they visit Tiger Stadium” said Jason Suitt, LSU’s Director of Fan Experience. “We have tried to look at all aspects of what fans want so we can improve the overall experience in the venue. The new capabilities that we will be able to implement on game day will only enhance what is already the best atmosphere in college football.”

The fan experience for LSU fans will also be helped this year as the school will adjust post-game football traffic to include contraflow southbound on Nicholson Drive/Highway 30 in an effort to help relieve vehicle congestion following home games.

The new postgame traffic flow is part of LSU’s on-going attempt to enhance the fan experience for football games in Tiger Stadium. LSU used the SP Plus Gameday consultant group to assist with new ways to ease both pre-game and post-game traffic congestion.

In addition to the post-game contraflow on Nicholson Drive/Highway 30, LSU, in conjunction with local law enforcement and city and parish leaders, are implementing increased pregame communication to fans with suggested incoming routes, current conditions, and any midseason adjustments made to our traffic plan. Fans will be notified by email, through social media, and on www.LSUsports.net/parking for these updates.

LSU Athletics and the Tiger Athletic Foundation have made significant investments in additional parking areas for the 2014 season, which includes the addition of 2,300 new parking spaces.

Complete information on parking lots and maps showing traffic routes go to LSUsports.net/parking.

Several athletic departments, including LSU, are taking steps to address and improve cell service on gameday both in Tiger Stadium and in the parking lots for its customers. LSU has installed a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to help with phone call reception and will be slowly integrated during the season.

“We are excited about enhancing our cell service for our fans in and around Tiger Stadium with the Distributed Antenna System we installed,” said LSU Senior Associate Athletics Director Eddie Nunez. “It is a learning process that will be tweaked as we go through the season to get the best service for the fans in the most crowded areas inside and outside the stadium.”

Stadium ingress and egress will also be enhanced this season with the completion of South End Zone construction as new gates will allow fans easier access to the South seats, eliminating some of the congestion of previous seasons at Gates 1-6 on the West side.

In social media, LSU will soon re-launch its Fan Cage, allowing fans to participate in promotions and polls to win prizes and/or exclusive offers from sponsors and/or LSU. Fans will also be able to integrate with social media and the mobile apps to submit photos to display of their visit to Tiger Stadium on the video boards.

Throughout the 2013-14 athletic year, the SEC conducted league-wide fan research studies in football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball. The studies included quantitative research conducted by “Now What Research” and qualitative analysis to provide an in-depth profile of SEC fans across all 14 institutions.

According to that research, among the areas of most concern to fans is availability of concessions, and in 2014 with the expansion of Tiger Stadium, there will be new concession stands in the south end zone with new items including hot chocolate chunk cookies, a Death Valley Dog (which on a hoagie roll includes pulled pork, melted cheese and tortilla strips) and Toasted Ravioli.

Through Tiger Stadium concession stands will be new items such as Smoked Nachos (with pulled pork and Bar-B-Q sauce), the Death Valley Dogs, the popular Ditka Spicy Sausage Po-Boys, Fried Catfish Po-Boys, Churro Bites (Mexican pastry rolled in Cinnamon sugar), The “What” Sandwich (pork loin, ham, Mettwurst) and as former LSU player Marcus Spears noted on the SEC Network , “the best jambalaya in Baton Rouge, Death Valley Concession stands.”’

The SEC continues to address the fan experience even as attendance thrives in the SEC.  Last football season, the SEC averaged 75,674 fans, which was an increase from 74,636 in 2012.  Also, the average percentage capacity in 2013 for SEC games was 99.02 percent, compared to 97.40 percent in 2012. Out of 100 games played at SEC venues in 2013, including the SEC Championship Game, 57 were filled to 100 percent capacity or more.  

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