For Immediate Release Contact: Steve Ellis
September 10, 2015 202-546-8500
Report Highlights Dozens of Federal Subsidies for Biofuels, with Focus on Ethanol
Released Same Day as Announcement of More Ethanol Subsidies
Washington, DC – Taxpayers for Common Sense today released a report detailing the variety of federal subsidies for biofuels like corn ethanol, the same day USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more federal subsidies for the industry.
In May, the USDA announced it was creating a $100 million grants program to subsidize ethanol blender pumps. Today’s announcement is the next step in that program. TCS awarded Sec. Vilsack the Golden Fleece award in July for providing this $100 million in taxpayer subsidies to pay for new gas station pumps that can dispense high-blend ethanol fuels. After an earlier attempt to fund blender pumps through another program, Congress explicitly forbid USDA from spending tax dollars from the program on blender pumps when it passed the 2014 Farm Bill.
“After more than 30 years of federal backing for certain biofuels such as corn ethanol, the federal government should be scaling back – not expanding – its role in subsidizing the long supply chain of biofuels production,” said TCS President Ryan Alexander.
Today’s report from TCS, titled “Understanding Federal Subsidies for the Biofuel and Biomass Industries,” includes an overview of Federal Biofuels and Biomass Subsidies administered by various federal agencies, including the USDA, Department of Energy, Treasury Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The report catalogues dozens of programs and subsidies, including descriptions and dollars spent. Copies of the report can be found at here.
“Biofuels have been sold as a tonic to achieve U.S. energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and spur rural economic development,” continued Alexander. “They have not delivered on these promises, and more government subsidies is not the answer.”