Senior Associate


Mike Leister spent more than 35 years with Marathon Oil Company and then Marathon Petroleum Company. He has been an industry leader in dealing with clean fuels regulations and legislation. He helped to develop industry consensus positions on ULSD, Tier 3 gasoline, MSAT 1 & 2 and in dealing with the fraudulent RIN problem. Mike understands U.S. refinery operations and economics, along with the U.S. transportation fuel distribution infrastructure. Optimization and strategic planning are two of his key interests. He has worked closely with EPA, DOE and the auto industry on many projects and issues.

Mike has an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Pamplin School of Business, which compliments his BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Through his work on API’s Economics work group, he has been the driver for many industry economic analyses covering everything from the national impact of changing the ozone NAAQS to the intricacies of the RFS2 RIN markets.

In addition to understanding refining industry operations and economics, Mike is very knowledgeable of research into transportation fuels and engines. During his 13 years on the Coordinating Research Council Board, including two years as president, he helped oversee a vast number of CRC research projects that dealt with both current and future engines and fuels.

Mike has lent his expertise to four National Petroleum Council studies. He is a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and spends his time restoring a Victorian home, playing tennis and hiking in Colorado.