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    NACS Spends Almost $2 Million Lobbying Congress

    Association focuses on interchange fees, tobacco legislation and motor fuel issues.

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The National Association of Convenience Stores spent $1.8 million in 2007 on its lobbying efforts.

    Along with NACS's work to educate legislators about burdensome credit card interchange fees, the association tackled proposed legislation that would bring the manufacture and retail of tobacco products under the control of the Federal Drug Administration.

    "We believe the regulation of tobacco retailing should occur at the state level, where it is now," Lyle Beckwith, NACS' senior vice president, government relations, told CSNews Online. "If Congress wants to regulate the manufacture of tobacco, that's their business. But retailing is being regulated fine by the states."

    Another priority for NACS was motor fuels legislation, including efforts to secure additional funding for tank inspections, to assure proper infrastructure of ethanol-blended products as they become mandated, and to make sure gasoline price-gauging legislation doesn't unduly target the convenieince store industry "for something that doesn't exist," Beckwith said.

    NACS represents more than 2,200 retail and 1,800 supplier companies in 40 countries. Under a federal law enacted in 1995, lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches.

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