Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) holds up a Philadelphia Eagles jersey during a rally for reforms to the nation¡¯s renewable fuel laws at Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in Philadelphia on Wednesday. (Reuters/Jarrett Renshaw)

Yes, that is Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, holding a custom Eagles uniform as he chats up union activists in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

There¡¯s a whole bunch of confusing stuff going on in this image.

  1. Why is Cruz, a GOP firebrand, in Philadelphia, a city?that voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by more than a 5-to-1 margin?
  2. Why is he sidling up to unions, a traditional Republican adversary?
  3. And seriously?¡ª an Eagles jersey?

Our friends from the?Energy 202 help us with the first two questions:

Cruz was there to stump for his side in a wonky policy debate that divides the Republicans in Washington like no other energy industry issue.

The bankruptcy of Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the biggest refinery on the?East Coast, has become the latest flash point between proponents and opponents of a 13-year-old law mandating that fuels derived from corn and other crops be blended into the nation¡¯s gasoline and diesel supply.

Politicians like Cruz from oil-producing states such as Texas view the plant-based fuel mandate as an unnecessary burden on refiners that destroys jobs. Meanwhile, Republicans from agricultural states ¡ª most notably, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa ¡ª regard the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as essential to securing the nation¡¯s energy independence and sustaining farming communities subject to wild swings in food prices.

Yeah, pretty wonky.

That jersey, though, still lacks for a good answer ¡ª aside from the obvious of him being in Philadelphia and the Eagles being a popular team there these days.

Cruz famously has chosen not to take sides between the two NFL teams in his home state. When the Cowboys and Texans met in 2014, instead of picking a winner, the senator simply acknowledged both teams existed.

But when the Cowboys faced the Packers in 2015, Cruz bet on Dallas to bring home a victory.

He wasn¡¯t much of a good luck charm. The Packers beat the Cowboys, 28-7.

Now, the 2016 presidential candidate has cast his lot in with the Eagles, not only the Cowboys¡¯ rival, but a team the Texans have never beaten in franchise history.

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