During his Tuesday morning press call with agriculture reporters, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) once again defended the tax credit for ethanol being extended in the tax bill poised to be passed by the Senate.
“Extension of both the ethanol credit and tariff have garnered a great deal of attention,” Grassley said. “It’s easy to see that ethanol has proved its worth in gold by displacing millions of gallons of imported oil….There shouldn’t be argument about saving more than 100,000 jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Grassley took issue with those who call the ethanol blenders tax credit a “subsidy,” comparing it to similar tax credits included in the bill. “If you want to call this a subsidy, are you going to call the research and development tax credit for major corporations a subsidy?,” he asked. “I think it’s kind of demagogic to be thinking about ethanol being a subsidy for 30 years, when the research and development tax credit has been around for 30 years. How come you don’t tackle them all instead of just one?” He thinks the only explanation is the campaign against ethanol by groups that have “never liked ethanol – big oil, and friends now from the environment and big food and even some agricultural groups.”
The Iowa senator says he is also pleased with the retroactive extension of the biodiesel tax credit in the bill. The latest word is that a vote on the measure could come this afternoon.
Listen to some of Grassley’s comments here: Chuck Grassley