Ethanol Faces Double Attack in Senate

Cindy Zimmerman

The ethanol industry is facing a double pronged attack in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) went to the floor last night with an amendment to eliminate the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) immediately, while at the same time Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is proposing to eliminate funding of ethanol infrastructure.

“It is a two-pronged attack, it is designed to stop the growth and evolution of the ethanol industry, it is decidedly anti-farmer, anti-consumer and really leads us down the path toward continued reliance on imported energy and higher prices at the pump,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen.

The Coburn amendment is being added to an economic development bill and Dinneen says it has nothing to do with reducing the federal deficit. “This isn’t about fiscal responsibility or his amendment would have included the tens of billions of dollars that taxpayers continue to contribute to oil companies,” said Dinneen.

Dinneen urges ethanol producers, corn growers and anyone who buys gas to call their senators and encourage them to oppose the amendments. “It’s an attack on the nation’s rural economy, it’s an attack on our energy security and it’s an attack on consumers across this country,” he said.

The VEETC is scheduled to expire at the end of this year and the ethanol industry is already working with Congress to develop a phase-out plan that would allow the continued growth and development of the renewable fuel.

Listen to or download Dinneen’s comments here: RFA CEO Bob Dinneen

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