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U.S. House, Senate Take Aim at Ethanol

Jun 22, 2011

The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate took separate votes last Thursday aimed at ending government subsidies for blending corn-based ethanol into gasoline.

In the House, Representative Jeff Flake's (R-AZ) amendment to prohibit the government from funding ethanol-related infrastructure projects, such as blender pumps at gas stations and storage facilities, passed in a 283-to-128 vote. It was attached to the House Agriculture Appropriations Act, H.R. 2112.

Meanwhile, as the Senate considered the Economic Development Revitalization Act, S. 782, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced an amendment to repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). The amendment garnered 73 supporting votes and received 27 opposition votes predominately from farm state senators.

Because they were added to unrelated bills, the two amendments are unlikely to become law. Yet the strong votes against ethanol subsidies are a clear signal that support for ethanol has declined significantly.

IDFA continues to oppose government support of ethanol, because it raises the price of corn and diverts a significant share of the U.S. corn production to energy purposes.

"With 40 percent of the U.S. crop production going to ethanol, government policy is causing higher fuel prices and increasing price volatility for farmers," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA vice president of government affairs and economic policy.

For more information, contact Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs, at or (202) 220-3553.


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