Action Alert: Senate Set to Vote on Ethanol Amendment [Completed Action]

Action Alert: Senate Set to Vote on Ethanol Amendment [Completed Action]

Agriculture, Energy & Natural Resources  | Research & Analysis
Oct 18, 2011  | 3 min read


In 2011, Taxpayers for Common Sense celebrated a major policy win. Congress let the wasteful ethanol tax credit (VEETC) expire at the end of the year and has not renewed it since or replaced it with other duplicative subsidies. TCS successfully advocated for an end to this $6 billion per year giveaway alongside a bipartisan group of lawmakers and diverse coalition of other fiscal and conservative organizations and anti-hunger, food, agriculture, and environmental groups. To view the coalition’s Dec. 2011 press release marking the end of VEETC, see:  Diverse Groups Mark Expiration of Ethanol Subsidy.

It is time to end the wasteful tradition of subsidizing the corn ethanol industry. Taxpayers for Common Sense joined a diverse coalition of groups expressing strong support for Senator McCain's (R-AZ) amendment (#741) to H.R. 2112, the fiscal year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill, to ensure that taxpayer money isn’t used to fund the ethanol industry’s building of blender pumps.  You can view a pdf of that letter here.

Taxpayers are currently subsidizing the ethanol industry in many ways, including through the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), which costs taxpayers $6 billion a year. VEETC is already a waste of taxpayer money, we shouldn’t have to cut them another check. A vote is expected to take place today.

Urge your Senators to vote yes!

Since the 1970's, Congress has been subsidizing the corn ethanol industry. Accounting for more than 75% of all renewable government subsidies, corn ethanol enjoys a 45 cent per gallon excise tax for every gallon of the biofuel blended with gasoline. This subsidy cost taxpayers $5.7 billion in 2010, and will cost taxpayers $6 billion this year.

Corn ethanol, which accounts for 98% of all ethanol use in the U.S., has never made sense economically, or environmentally. When ethanol is used as an additive in gasoline, it only contains two-thirds the energy a standard gallon of gasoline can provide, and costs taxpayers $1.78 for every gallon of gasoline that is substituted with corn ethanol. Ethanol is also ensured a market by the Renewable Fuels Standard, which mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended with U.S. gasoline by 2022, up to 15 billion gallons of which can come from conventional corn ethanol. For more information on this wasteful ethanol subsidy, read our Green Scissors report here.

After 33 years, it's time to let the ethanol industry stand on its own. Ask your Senators to support the McCain Amendment and protect taxpayers from another ethanol handout!


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