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May 7, 2009
2:06 PM

CONTACT: Friends of The Earth

Nick Berning, 202-222-0748
Kate McMahon, 202-222-0715

Biofuels Slated to Receive More than $400 Billion in Federal Subsidies

New report from Friends of the Earth documents how biofuels industry gains at taxpayers’ and environment’s expense

WASHINGTON - May 7 - Friends of the Earth released a report today that examines the extent to which the biofuels industry is subsidized by federal tax credits and a federal renewable fuels mandate. The report finds that between 2008 and 2022, biofuels will receive more than $400 billion in subsidies.

The report also shows that, rather than promoting the production of less harmful biofuels, many of these subsidies are supporting the most environmentally damaging ones, such as corn ethanol.

"The size of these subsidies is extraordinary, particularly given how poorly we screen the environmental impacts produced by their recipients. The subsidies are accelerating environmental damage," said Doug Koplow of Earth Track, who authored the report. "There are far better ways to spend this money."

"What we've found is that not only is the biofuels industry harming the environment, but that the government is paying it to do so," said Kate McMahon, biofuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth. "President Obama released a $3.5 trillion budget proposal today. If he's looking for a place to make some cuts, these giveaways to the biofuels industry would be a great place to start."

The report can be viewed at

A one-page document summarizing the report's findings can be found at:

More information about Friends of the Earth's work to roll back environmentally harmful biofuels subsidies can be found at


Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.


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