In the wake of deliberations by the supercommittee to reduce the federal deficit, organizations are uniting against the renewal of ethanol tax credits. IDFA has joined with 103 other groups, with a wide range of interests, who all agree Congress should let the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) sunset on December 31.
In letters sent this week to Congressional leadership, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the groups also asked legislators to resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.
The letters, suggesting an end to a costly government subsidy, come at a time when a select group of Congressional members are awaiting committee recommendations about what to consider for deficit reduction.
"Congress has the opportunity to end the $6 billion a year subsidy to gasoline refiners who blend corn ethanol into gasoline," the letter said. "At the time of spiraling deficits, we do not believe Congress should continue subsidizing gasoline refiners for something they are already required to do by the Renewable Fuels Standard.”
Earlier this year, Congress faced key votes on the fate of ethanol subsidies. In June, Representative Jeff Flake's (R-AZ) amendment to deny future funding for ethanol blender pumps or storage facilities passed in a 283-to-128 vote. In the Senate, Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) amendment to eliminate the VEETC passed with a vote of 73-to-27. IDFA joined with several other associations in supporting these amendments.
Although the House and Senate each passed measures aimed at gutting ethanol subsidies, no further action has been taken.
"During the budget and debt-ceiling debates, talks of repealing the VEETC surfaced, but never came to fruition," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy. "With dairy producers continuing to struggle with high feed costs, we're encouraging Congress to let the credit sunset at the end of the year."
For more information, contact Slominski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 220-3512.