In the public mind, testimony on Capitol Hill usually falls into one of two categories: mind-numblingly boring or pointless grandstanding for political gain. Today's FTC workship on "Auto Distribution" will, hopefully, be neither. That's because the direct-sales issue has the potential to get people riled up. Also, because I'm going to be on site all eight-and-a-half hours. You can follow our live coverage here and also on the AutoblogGreen Twitter and Facebook feeds.

The official description makes it seem less than thrilling. It says that the workshop is meant:

to explore competition and related issues in the context of state regulation of motor vehicle distribution, and to promote more informed analysis of how these regulations affect businesses and consumers. The workshop, which will consist of presentations and discussion, will focus on the following topics: (1) the regulation of dealer location; (2) laws relating to reimbursement for warranty services; (3) restrictions on manufacturers' ability to engage in direct sales to consumers; and (4) new developments affecting motor vehicle distribution, such as autonomous vehicles, connected cars, and the rise of subscription-based automobile sharing services.

Of course, this dealer fight issue has gotten Tesla plenty of attention in the past when it challenged the status quo in individual states (e.g., Michigan, California, and Texas). That's why we assume most readers will be most interested in hearing from Tesla itself, which will happen in the mid-afternoon. Todd Maron, Tesla's general counsel, is scheduled to talk on the panel that runs from 2:15 to 3:45 along with Joel Sheltrown, the vice president of government affairs for Elio Motors and others. In other sessions, representatives from the American Automobile Association, the National Automobile Dealers Association, and Uber are scheduled to speak. The FTC itself hasn't made any comments about whether or not it should be allowed for Tesla to sell its vehicles direct to customers, but FTC representatives have said such sales should be allowed on two occasions. A change in the dealership laws in the US would affect all automakers, of course, and companies like Audi are already thinking about it.

If you want to submit your own comments – and this is a public issue, so if you're in the US and care about whether or not Tesla, for example, should be allowed to sell vehicles directly to buyers, you should want to – you can do that here. The FTC will listed to you until March 4, 2016. You can also watch the hearings all day today here. The fun starts at 9 am.

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