In bipartisan actions, both the House of Representatives and the Senate overwhelmingly approved two separate amendments that would reduce the federal government’s support of corn-based ethanol.
The Senate approved an amendment to the Economic Development Revitalization Act introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would fully eliminate the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) and fully repeal the import tariff on foreign ethanol. The amendment passed 73-27.
In a separate measure, the House voted 283-128 to pass an amendment introduced by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture from using appropriated funds for the installation of ethanol pumps and storage facilities.
“At a time of record federal deficits coupled with rising food prices, it is time to end the 30-plus years of taxpayer subsidies afforded to the corn-based ethanol industry, which is costing taxpayers approximately $6 billion this year alone,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle. “The passage of these two measures, which received wide and bipartisan support, highlights a growing concern on Capitol Hill about unnecessary federal support of corn-based ethanol. It is time the corn ethanol industry operates on a level playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major input.”
The National Corn Growers Association expressed its disappointment with the voting.
“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.”
Source: AMI, NCGA