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Archives: November

Two Important Letters May Help Make Ethanol Reform A Reality

by Joel Velasco on Nov 30, 2010

News last week that leading conservative Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) joined former Vice President Al Gore in calling for ethanol policy reform sent ripples through the renewable energy world, which is closely eyeing the lame-duck session to see if Congress will extend the costly ethanol subsidies and trade protection, or let them expire as scheduled on December 31st. Today’s release of a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter from Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) brought even greater evidence that ending the ethanol tariff and subsidies is “something we can all agree on.” Read More

What Do Al Gore, Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn Have in Common?

by Joel Velasco on Nov 22, 2010

U.S. ethanol policy has been known to create some of the strangest bedfellows, but today’s news may take the cake. With just days left on the legislative calendar and ethanol’s $6 billion per year subsidies and trade protection at stake, leading conservative Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) joined former Vice President Al Gore in denouncing the current policy with bold calls for reform. Read More

25,000 Reasons Congress Should End the Ethanol Tariff

by Joel Velasco on Nov 19, 2010

With the lame-duck Congress back in session and a potential showdown brewing over ethanol policy – we knew this week offered a critical window of opportunity to send lawmakers the strongest message yet to end the $6 billion dollar per year subsidy handouts and finally stop blocking cleaner, more affordable alternative energy options like sugarcane ethanol from Brazil. We knew consumers were frustrated by wasteful spending, endless partisan gridlock and rising gas prices – but we were still blown away by the veritable storm of activity since the launch of our Day of Action earlier this week. Read More

Glaring Hypocrisy in U.S. Ethanol’s Subsidized Exports

by Joel Velasco on Nov 17, 2010

With gas prices up nearly 8% since Labor Day, ethanol profits soaring and a lame-duck Congress mulling over potential energy legislation, news surfaced this week that may well put the $6 billion per year ethanol subsidies and tariff in final jeopardy. According to reports from CNN Money and Financial Times, rising U.S. ethanol exports are being subsidized by the current tax credit. What that means is American taxpayers are paying hard earned money to lower prices at the pump for Europeans and other drivers around the world. Read More

Another Blow to Ethanol Subsidies and Trade Protection from Iowa State

by Joel Velasco on Nov 16, 2010

As chatter increases inside the Beltway that some energy legislation may move forward during the lame-duck session, new research from the heart of the farm belt once again battered the economic case for extending the ethanol tariff and subsidies. A new report by Bruce A. Babcock, director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) and a professor of economics at Iowa State University, finds that extension of the two policies would have stark consequences for taxpayers and food prices – while allowing them to expire would have no significant impact on the ethanol economy. Read More

Congress Needs to Hear from Clean Energy Advocates

by Joel Velasco on Nov 15, 2010

With just a few days left on the legislative calendar, clean energy history is on the horizon. The 30 year-old ethanol tariff and subsidies are finally set to expire on December 31st – but they won’t go softly. The corn ethanol lobby is desperately seeking an under-the-radar renewal during the lame-duck session with “a stroke of the pen, a little bit of Whiteout.” And as if lawmakers needed another reason to support reform, news surfaced today that current ethanol policy even subsidizes U.S. exports – meaning American taxpayers are helping lower prices at the pump for Europeans and other drivers around the world. Read More

Deficit Commission Report a Sobering Reminder on U.S. Ethanol Policy Reform

by Joel Velasco on Nov 11, 2010

Former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles’s deficit reduction proposal has drawn mixed reactions from both sides of the aisle for recommending sweeping cuts to federal programs. Regardless of where you stand on the report’s recommendations, one of its main points serves as a sobering reminder that Congress must “end redundant, antiquated, ineffective spending.” The ethanol tariff and subsidies may well be the easiest place to start. Read More

Raise a Little Cane - A Countdown to Cleaner, More Affordable Energy

by Joel Velasco on Nov 09, 2010

After 30 years in existence, the ethanol tariff and subsidies are finally set to expire on December 31st – but not without a fight. Despite resounding calls from voters to end wasteful government spending, the corn ethanol lobby is scrambling to push through a renewal of these costly policies during the lame-duck session with “a stroke of the pen, a little bit of Whiteout.” With $6 billion taxpayer dollars and access to cleaner, more affordable energy at stake – the time for backroom deals is long gone. Read More

Fiscal Responsibility and Bipartisanship Are Easy to Achieve on Biofuels Policy

by Joel Velasco on Nov 03, 2010

As the dust settled on a midterm election that significantly altered the political landscape, voters sent a clear message that cutting the deficit and ending wasteful government spending should be top priorities for Congress. Americans will be watching closely to see if lawmakers got the message. Eliminating ethanol subsidies and trade protection would be a good way to indicate that they did. Read More

A Head Start on Savings at the Pump

by Joel Velasco on Nov 01, 2010

With gas prices on the rise and Thanksgiving travel ahead, many Americans are reminded of the pinch at the pump. Lowering fuel prices in the long term is one important reason we’re trying to stimulate competition among clean, alternative fuels by eliminating the tariff on imported ethanol. The tariff is set to expire on December 31st, and here at Sweeter Alternative – we’re ready to make a down payment and help you get a head start on potential fuel savings now. Today I’m announcing a month-long giveaway of fuel gift cards. Read More

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