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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A report by the Associated Press today said that NACS, the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, spent $655,000 during the third quarter lobbying the federal government on issues related to price gouging, energy policy, credit card fees, tobacco regulation and other business matters, according to a disclosure document.
That's up 15 percent from the $570,000 NACS spent in the third quarter a year ago. Records show that the association spent $620,000 in the second quarter of this year.
In addition to Congress, the trade group, which represents more than 2,100 retail chains and 1,600 suppliers for convenience stores, also lobbied the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Federal Reserve System and others, according to a disclosure report file with the House clerk's office.
The NACS' lobbying expenditures, though large, appear a pittance compared to the money spent by the banking industry in its battles with retailers and other businesses to weaken or repeal hundreds of rules curbing the financial giants' numerous alleged abuses, such as the hidden and usurious swipe fees they continue to charge American retailers.
According to a recent analysis of federal lobbying disclosure records by the Charlotte Observer, lobbying outlays by the five biggest spenders in the commercial banking sector increased 12 percent during the first three quarters of this year, putting the banks on pace to spend nearly $47 million in lobbying this year, compared with $42 million spent in 2010. That figure would be sixth straight year that commercial bank lobbying has set a record, according to the report.