Tax Package’s $6 Billion Giveaway to Corn Ethanol, Plus Other Polluter Handouts, Harm People and the Planet

For Immediate Release


Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722,
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748,

Tax Package’s $6 Billion Giveaway to Corn Ethanol, Plus Other Polluter Handouts, Harm People and the Planet

WASHINGTON - Late last night, the House of Representatives passed a tax package
that extends subsidies for dirty fuels such as corn ethanol and liquid
coal. The $860 billion package also extends the Bush tax cuts for the
wealthy and establishes a low estate tax rate.  

Friends of the Earth’s biofuels campaign coordinator, Kate McMahon, responded:

“As tax cuts for millionaires and the looming expiration of
unemployment protections stole the spotlight, Congress slipped a
wasteful $6 billion giveaway to the dirty corn ethanol industry into
this bill.

“An unprecedented coalition of taxpayer, libertarian, environmental,
humanitarian, industry, agricultural, faith and progressive advocates
united to oppose the extension of corn ethanol subsidies, but Congress
lavished this gift on the corn ethanol industry anyway. This wasted
money will line the pockets of polluting corporations while American
families can barely afford to put food on the table.

“This bill also includes a massive giveaway to dirty liquid coal, an
expensive fuel that just won’t die. We thought that we had finally rid
ourselves of a fifty-cents-a-gallon liquid coal subsidy after it expired
last January, but the handout is resuscitated in this bill. A wooden
stake and garlic are apparently needed keep the dirty liquid coal
industry from sucking taxpayers dry.

“Subsidies for dirty fuels are not the only problems with this bill.
This tax package lines the pockets of millionaires and boosts the profit
lines of some of the worst polluters while jeopardizing our
government’s ability to fund essential public programs. Continuing the
Bush tax giveaways for the wealthiest, setting a far-too-low estate tax,
and upping polluter payouts will cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
This is money that could otherwise be used to advance the common good.

“This is fundamentally unjust. The American public deserves a robust
debate about our nation’s priorities, but this legislation has been
railroaded by moneyed interests.”


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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