Western Dairy Group Applauds Sen. Feinstein for Reigniting Debate over Ethanol Subsidies

December 9, 2011 11:32 AM

With the subsidies set to expire Dec. 31, Feinstein is warning fellow senators to be on the lookout for bills seeking to extend them.

Source: WUD news release
California-based Western United Dairymen (WUD) today applauded the efforts of Sen. Dianne Feinstein as she called on her colleagues to join once again in the fight to end longstanding ethanol subsidies.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent this week to members of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Feinstein and Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn thanked senators for their 73-27 vote in June to end the subsidies but noted the underlying bill was not enacted. With the subsidies set to expire Dec. 31, Feinstein is warning fellow senators to be on the lookout for bills seeking to extend the subsidies.

WUD President Jamie Bledsoe praised Feinstein’s efforts to guard against a last-minute effort to extend the subsidies.
“We thank Senator Feinstein for her tireless efforts toward eliminating the blender’s tax credit for oil companies as well as the tariff on imported ethanol,” Bledsoe said. “Her efforts to try and provide relief on feed prices for California's dairy farm families is much appreciated. It appears she's on the verge of success, but anything can happen as the Congress looks to wind up business for the first session of the 112th Congress ahead of the holidays.”

The two targeted subsidies are the 46 cent-per-gallon subsidy for blending ethanol into gasoline and the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on ethanol imports.
“Should an extension of one or both of these policies be included in a legislative package prior to the end of this legislative session, we would view it as a stark contradiction to the will of this Body,” wrote Feinstein.

Feinstein cited a U.S. International Trade Commission report in her letter that says eliminating the protectionist ethanol import tariff will result in $1.5 billion in economic benefits, largely realized in lower gas prices for consumers. Tariff elimination would also reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, says the report, by leveling the playing field between oil imported from OPEC, which faces no tariff and more efficient sugar-based ethanol imported from Brazil, which currently pays this hefty tariff.
If the tax subsidy for blending ethanol into gasoline expires, the study claims it will save taxpayers approximately $6 billion per year. “This step would end a redundant subsidy that effectively compensates blenders of ethanol to comply with the mandates of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Feinstein said.

WUD is a voluntary membership organization representing more than 60% of the milk produced in California.

Back to news




Spell Check

12/9/2011 03:23 PM

  Ending the ethanol import tariff only helps Brazil, not the US farmer. It makes no sense. If the cattlemen want to rob the grain farmers because ethanol supports corn prices, then I hope that their cattle can digest "more efficient sugar-based ethanol imported from Brazil" because that's where they will have to look for feed corn if US grain farmers boycott cattle producers and sell all their grain to ethanol plants. Let them eat DDGs!

12/9/2011 03:24 PM


12/9/2011 03:28 PM

  Feinstein should enjoy her last term in office - the next Senate will be Republican. Thank God!


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by QTInfo.com
Brought to you by Beyer