Brazil Ethanol Lobbies DC With Gas Discount

Cindy Zimmerman

UNICAThe Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) is discounting gasoline by 54 cents per gallon on the Tuesday before Memorial Day at two Capitol Hill gas stations to draw attention to a 54 cents per gallon tariff on imported ethanol.

“The one-day discount will provide Washington area residents with a preview of how Americans across the country could save money at the pump if Congress ends this unfair import tax later this year,” reads the UNICA release on the promotion.

Growth EnergyThe promotion is not sitting well with ethanol organization Growth Energy. “The only thing we should be importing from Brazil is their resolve to become energy independent,” said CEO Tom Buis. “Domestic ethanol is cheaper than imported ethanol, and it is far cheaper than gasoline refined from imported oil. The truth is that we have to end our reliance on foreign energy – period. Domestic ethanol helps create U.S. jobs, and helps the U.S. economy, and strengthens our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign energy.”

The 54 cent per gallon secondary tariff on ethanol is tied to the 45-cent blender’s credit to encourage blenders to use domestically produced ethanol. The secondary tariff on ethanol imports ensures that the tax credit is not given to the ethanol produced in another country. All ethanol blended with gasoline in the U.S. qualifies for the blenders’ credit, no matter the country of origin of the fuel ethanol. To avoid the use of taxpayer dollars to support foreign ethanol production, U.S. ethanol imports from non-Caribbean Basin countries are subject to the secondary tariff.

Ethanol, Growth Energy