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Before Presidential Debate, New TV Ad Encourages Candidates to Oppose Ethanol Subsidies

Ad says subsidies ‘cost $6 billion but make no sense’

WASHINGTON - Less than a week before the first Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, two public interest groups, environmental advocate Friends of the Earth and budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, released a TV ad today asking whether presidential candidates will oppose the $6 billion federal subsidy paid each year to ethanol blenders.

The ad, “No Sense,” will air this week in New Hampshire, leading up to Monday’s Republican presidential candidates’ debate at St. Anselm College. The ad can be viewed at:

“Corn ethanol is not living up to its promise,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth. “Ethanol production requires tons of petrochemicals and diverts land that could be better used for growing traditional food. This country’s ethanol tax credits have increased food prices around the world and made climate pollution even worse.”

“Ethanol subsidies are a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars and do little more than line the pockets of big oil companies,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “Republican candidates have to decide whether they put America’s taxpayers before their personal political gain.”

Ethanol subsidies are one of the few issues on which candidates have shown differences in this campaign. New Hampshire debate attendees Ron Paul and Herman Cain have come out against the subsidies, while Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have favored continuing them. Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum have expressed interest in phasing the subsidies out over a period of years.


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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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