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.