Senate Votes to End Ethanol Subsidies

June 16, 2011 11:36 AM

The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to eliminate billions of dollars in support for the U.S. ethanol industry. In a 73-27, the Senate vote approved an amendment to end the 45-cent-a-gallon subsidy the government gives refiners and the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol

In a news release, the National Corn Growers Association expressed disappointment that the Senate allowed petty politics to trump prudent policy in the fight for the future of the ethanol industry. The passage of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s amendment to immediately repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit represents a tax increase on fuel that will kill jobs in rural America and hit all consumers in the pocketbook, NCGA said.
“Today the Senate voted against rural America and domestic, renewable energy, and in favor of more foreign oil,” NCGA President Bart Schott, a grower from Kulm, N.D., said. “Sen. Feinstein has unfairly hit at the heart of an important agricultural industry while remaining unified with subsidy-laden Big Oil.”
The ethanol industry supports more than 400,000 U.S. jobs, contributing more than $56 billion each year to the nation’s economy and $11 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue, Schott said.
The Renewable Fuels Association issued the following statement in response:

“This House bill is likely dead on arrival in the Senate, and the provision included by Rep. Flake was defeated in the vote on the amendment offered by Sen. McCain. It remains our hope that lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol will now take up a serious conversation about American energy policy. Any discussion must include domestically produced renewable fuels like ethanol.”


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Spell Check

6/18/2011 06:00 AM

  “Today the Senate voted against rural America and domestic, renewable energy, and in favor of more foreign oil,” By rural America you mean what? Huge parts of rural America do not support subsidizing ethanol. Consumers no longer support subsidizing ethanol. If big oil is getting subsidies, take that away as well. While mentioning jobs, be fair. Interested in how many jobs say the oil industry supports. Will this make us more dependent on foreign oil? This is insane to promote the idea that the only oil is foreign oil. Drill here, get the federal regulations in order and let some common sense take over. Oil in the ground will stay there if we don't use it, natural gas in the ground will stay there if we don't use it, Coal in the ground will stay there if we don't use it, water powered electric will continue to roar over spillways if we don't use it. The difference is, none of these natural US energy sources will compete for acres that provide food for America. Ethanol' a big boy now............I for one oppose subsidies in general. Seems that a start up subsidy has not proven that Ethanol can compete without being subsidized. It time to let it stand on it's own. My banker would not continue to loan me money on a losing project that never cash flowed on it's own two feet. If ethanol is so great, than It will survive competition. Are there any other ag sectors that enjoy a 54 cent tariff on competition from imports? Last I heard the Federal gov. does not put a tariff on imported milk paid for by the taxpayers to keep domestic milk high!


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