Bill Introduced to Extend Wasteful Ethanol Tax Credits

For Immediate Release

Broad Coalition
Contact: 

Friends of the Earth: Scott Baumgartner, sbaumgartner@foe.org, 202-222-0751
American Meat Institute: Dave Ray, dray@meatami.com, 202-587-4243
Clean Air Task Force: Jonathan Lewis, jlewis@catf.us, 617-894-3788
Grocery Manufacturers Association: Scott Openshaw, sopenshaw@gmaonline.org, 202-295-3957
National Council of Chain Restaurants: Kathy Grannis, grannisk@nrf.com, 202-783-7971
Natural Resources Defense Council: Suzanne Struglinski, sstruglinski@nrdc.org, 202-423-6004
Oxfam America: Laura Rusu, lrusu@oxfamamerica.org, 202-496-1169
Taxpayers for Common Sense: Steve Ellis, steve@taxpayer.net, 202-546-8500 ext. 126

Bill Introduced to Extend Wasteful Ethanol Tax Credits

Broad coalition says providing subsidies for the ethanol industry bad for environment, food prices and taxpayers

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) introduced a bill that would
extend ethanol tax credits for another five years, to 2015. This tax
credit is set to expire on December 31, 2010. If extended, the tax
credits will provide the conventional ethanol industry with $30 billion
over five years.

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

Kate McMahon, Energy Policy Campaigner at Friends of the
Earth
, said:

"Continuing to subsidize dirty corn ethanol is outrageous. Congress
already mandates a market for ethanol use. The oil and ethanol
industries need no further help from the American people. This money
should be invested in more cutting-edge, clean, and renewable energy
that won't cause environmental degradation and increase food prices."

J. Patrick Boyle, President and CEO, American Meat Institute,
said:

"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. 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."

Jonathan Lewis, Attorney and Climate Specialist for the Clean
Air Task Force
, said:

"If we hope to get ourselves out of the global climate change hole,
the first thing we need to do is stop digging. 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."

Geoff Moody, Manager of Federal Affairs at the Grocery
Manufacturers Association
, said:

"The Grocery Manufacturers Association fully supports truly
sustainable advanced biofuels and extension of the cellulosic ethanol
tax credit. 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."

Scott Vinson, Vice President of the National Council of Chain
Restaurants
, said

"In a time of ballooning federal deficits, it is high time for the
government to say no to the ethanol lobby's seemingly endless demands
for more subsidies from the hard-pressed American taxpayer. Restaurants
have to do business without government support in an intensely
competitive market, and the ethanol industry needs to prove it can exist
without taxpayers and consumers footing the bill. Congress is going to
have to make some tough choices about how it spends taxpayers' money,
and the ethanol sector is looking increasingly like a bad investment."

Franz Matzner, Climate Center Legislative Director at the Natural
Resources Defense Council
, said:

"Taxpayers should no longer throw good money after bad when it comes
to subsidizing corn ethanol. The public should get something in return
for its hard earned money, and that means demanding real environmental
performance. It's time to invest in the future, not the past."

Gawain Kripke, Director of Policy & Research at Oxfam
America
, said:

"Congress should not waste taxpayer dollars by extending the current
tax credits. The current package of ethanol mandates, incentives and
subsidies is driving a rapid growth in ethanol production and the
diversion of huge volumes of agriculture products from food markets to
energy use. This year, the US will burn nearly one-third of our corn
harvest in gas tanks, which drives up the price of corn. This has big
implications for hunger, climate change, and land use around the world,
contributing to food insecurity in developing countries."

Steve Ellis, Vice President at Taxpayers for Common Sense,
said:

"For more than three decades the ethanol industry has received
generous subsidies from taxpayers. With Americans staring into a
budgetary abyss for the foreseeable future, blowing billions on more
ethanol subsidies doesn't make sense. Expanding the ethanol tax credit
is fiscally reckless. Instead, Congress should be considering its
repeal."

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