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What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

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Mr. Wheeler served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

ETHANOL

Oil refineries sue EPA over ethanol

A trade group representing oil refineries is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over plans to allow the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol.

The Obama administration said in October that gas stations could start selling the corn-based ethanol blend for vehicles built since the 2007 model year. The ruling would increase it from the current blend of 10 percent ethanol.

But the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association and two other trade groups have asked a federal appeals court to overturn the decision. They say the EPA does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act to approve a plan for fuels that run in some engines but not others.

Auto industry and engine manufacturing trade groups have also sued the EPA over the ethanol decision.

BANKING

GOP targets regulatory overhaul funds

Congressional Republicans could put the budget squeeze on two powerful regulatory agencies to slow President Obama’s crackdown on Wall Street.

A Democrat-controlled Congress pushed through the financial-regulatory overhaul laws last year, and regulators were counting on a big budget boost to police the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market - blamed for much of the excess behind the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

But the last Congress failed to deliver on the funding, and that will be even harder to obtain with Republicans vowing to cut spending as they take control of the House of Representatives and boost their numbers in the Senate.

Before lawmakers fund the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Republicans want more time to study whether the spending is warranted, said Rep. Randy Neugebauer, Texas Republican and incoming head of a key House Financial Services subcommittee.

MONTANA

Baucus plans to wed former staffer

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