Debate Over Ethanol Subsidies Heats up in Washington

Washington currently provides approximately $5 billion worth of annual tax credits to U.S. farmers growing crops for ethanol production.

The question of ending the subsidies is fracturing the Republican leadership in Washington, National Public Radio reported.

Kentucky Republican Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This is a very controversial subject. We have members in our conference on both sides of this issue.”

In a key vote Tuesday on Capitol Hill the Senate blocked a measure that would have immediately ended both federal subsidies and protective tariffs for corn-based ethanol fuel.

Leading the charge to end the subsidies is Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn, who has been trying for months to force colleagues to take a stand on ending the ethanol industry tax breaks.

Coburn infuriated some Republican Senate colleagues when last week he tried a Congressional maneuver to force the Senate to consider his legislation, which would end the $3 billion in tax credits still to be paid this year to those who by law are already required to blend ethanol with gasoline. Coburn insists that virtually all the revenue goes to big oil companies, telling reporters, “Here’s something that is $3 billion that the people we’re paying … say they don’t want … and we’re not going to take them up on it? What part of stupid are we?”

Article by Charles Kennedy, appearing courtesy

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One comment on “Debate Over Ethanol Subsidies Heats up in Washington


Ethanol additives in fuel is the biggest farce yet to come out of Washington. It’s a poor additive that has done more to hurt the environment, food supply, and engines than any other policy written.

Ethanol based fuels have a tendency to absorb water and phase shift, creating a toxic fuel that damages your engine. Contaminated fuels need to be removed from the tanks and disposed of in a proper way. The only problem is there is no way to dispose of the fuel and our local governments don’t have any suggestions on what to do with it. Don’t believe me, make a call.

Ethanol based fuels need to have additives added to stabilize, but it’s not a permanent solution. My fear is that the cure is worse than the problem.

With food prices on the increase and corn based ethanol being such a poor additive, subsidies make absolutely no sense. Bring back MBTE as an additive. Better mileage, more stability and less impact on the environment. Why not, it’s what the rest of the world uses!

Scrap the subsidies and the ethanol based fuels program! What a waste of money!

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