Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md) have joined forces to sponsor a bill that ends the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). This tax credit subsidizes the blending of corn-based ethanol into gasoline. The legislation, if enacted immediately, would save taxpayers nearly $4 billion during the remainder of 2011, said ActionAid in a press statement.
ActionAid is one of several organizations that have applauded the senators for taking the initiative to end the bill. “In the context of record breaking high food prices, the U.S. can invest in national security and global economic recovery while saving taxpayer dollars by eliminating the duplicitous corn ethanol subsidy”, said Marie Brill, senior policy analyst at ActionAid USA.
Friends of the Earth also expressed support for the initiative. “We applaud Senators Cardin and Coburn for their bipartisan leadership toward saving billions in taxpayer dollars. It is encouraging to see lawmakers putting aside partisan politics and reaching across the aisle to end corporate welfare to profitable dirty energy companies, especially during this economically perilous time”, said Kate McMahon, FoE’s biofuels campaign coordinator.
Apart from these two campaigners, the bill has attracted support from a wide range of representatives of the food industry, business associations, taxpayer advocates and public interest organizations. The bill is likely to meet fierce opposition from those who benefit from it. We will be watching this debate as it is going to be a heated one.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.