Groups call for end to ethanol subsidies

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The American Meat Institute joined more than 30 diverse organizations in sending a letter applauding Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Cardin (D-MD) for introducing legislation today that would end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.

“Non-partisan agencies like the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office have already concluded that the subsidy is unnecessary, and leading economists agree that ending it would have little impact on ethanol production, prices or jobs,” the groups wrote.  “We applaud you for your leadership on this important issue and encourage Congress to pass this legislation swiftly.”

In addition to AMI, a diverse group of food, agricultural and environmental organizations including Clean Air Task Force, Clean Water Action, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Milk Producers Council, National Chicken Council, National Council of Chain Restaurants

National Wildlife Federation and Sierra Club signed the letter. Read the full letter.

AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle issued the following statement in response to the introduction of this legislation: 

“With the U.S. corn supply at record lows, corn prices at record highs and ethanol production absorbing 40 percent of U.S. corn production, government subsidies for corn-based ethanol, like VEETC, continue to artificially inflate the market for corn.  As a result, the cost of feeding livestock has increased, which in turn drives up the cost of food production for everyone in the supply chain, trickling down to the consumer.  This bipartisan bill is an important step in reversing that trend, and I applaud Senators Coburn and Cardin for their leadership on this issue.

“This legislation not only would benefit American consumers who are struggling with escalating food prices, but would save American taxpayers $4 billion this year. 

“At a time of record federal deficits, coupled with rising food prices both at home and abroad, it is time the mature corn-based ethanol industry operates on a level playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major input.”

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Mel Meister    
NE  |  March, 09, 2011 at 10:37 PM

only if oil subsides are stopped

Kenny Fox    
SD  |  March, 10, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I agree with Mr. Meister. Also the only reason these organizations want the subsidy removed from ethanol is so the packers and retailers can have their bottom line subsized with cheap corn which in turn makes cheap cattle. Untill ethanol came along we cattle ranchers and farmers along with corn farmers have struggled to keep our heads above water. High priced corn makes high priced cattle. These big corporations have made billions off our backs. It is time the pendulum swings back our way.

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