Bill to extend ethanol tax credits denounced

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON – On May 25, a bill was introduced by Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) that would extend ethanol tax credits to 2015. This tax credit is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2010. The tax credits, if extended, will provide the conventional ethanol industry with $30 billion over five years.

One group of organizations representing environmental, hunger, industry and taxpayer interests denounced the proposed extension of ethanol tax credits.

“Unfortunately, this bill continues the unfair support and protection corn-based ethanol has enjoyed for more than 30 years at the expense of the American taxpayer and the livestock and poultry producers who rely on corn for feed,” said J. Patrick Boyle, president and chief executive officer of American Meat Institute. “It’s time for the corn-based ethanol industry to stop using the American taxpayers as a crutch and finally compete on its own in our free-market system.”

"If we hope to get ourselves out of the global climate change hole, the first thing we need to do is stop digging,” said Jonathan Lewis, attorney and climate specialist for the Clean Air Task Force. “This bill does just the opposite by lavishing taxpayer dollars on corn ethanol, a fuel that's even worse for the climate than gasoline. Renewing the corn ethanol subsidy makes no sense for our economy or for the environment."

“The Grocery Manufacturers Association fully supports truly sustainable advanced biofuels and extension of the cellulosic ethanol tax credit,” said Geoff Moody, manager of federal affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “Unfortunately, this bill would also extend the unnecessary corn ethanol tax credit and import tariff at the expense of more sustainable biofuels. We urge Congress to instead shift government investments to advanced biofuels that do not pit our energy security against our food security.”

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