Diverse Groups Oppose Coburn Ethanol Amendment

Cindy Zimmerman

In advance of a vote in the Senate on an amendment to eliminate the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) immediately, ethanol interests remain “cautiously optimistic” that the measure will fail.

Seven agriculture and ethanol organizations sent a letter to the Senate leadership urging a no vote on the amendment proposed last week by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). In it the groups note that, “As evidenced by the ethanol tax reform legislation recently introduced by a bipartisan group of senators and supported by our nation’s ethanol producers, the ethanol industry understands the need for reforming the tax incentive to significantly reduce costs to a more responsible approach that protects the evolution of the industry.” Groups signing the letter include the American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council, American Farm Bureau Federation, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and the Renewable Fuels Association.

Other groups that have voiced opposition to the amendment include the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) which sent a letter to Sen. Coburn in opposition stating, “…an abrupt termination of VEETC before that date will injure many marketers who have contracts to purchase ethanol at prices that were premised upon the existence of VEETC through the year 2011. SIGMA assumes that such a consequence is not your intent and therefore urges you to forego any legislation which would end VEETC before the end of this year.”

A vote on the amendment is expected this afternoon.

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