Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

helps us
protect the environmentsave money at the pumpdiversify our energy
Sections
Personal tools

Feinstein-Coburn Bill to End Ethanol Tariff Unites Progressives and Conservatives

by Leticia Phillips on May 18, 2011

The bipartisan effort in the Senate to end the ethanol tariff and subsidy is garnering considerable praise among editorialists across the country and ideological spectrum. From the heart of liberal activism in San Francisco to the halls of one of DC’s most conservative think tanks, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) Ethanol Subsidy and Tariff Repeal Act is uniting unlikely supporters of every stripe.

| More

The bipartisan effort in the Senate to end the ethanol tariff and subsidy is garnering considerable praise among editorialists across the country and ideological spectrum. From left-leaning San Francisco to the halls of one of DC’s most conservative think tanks, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) Ethanol Subsidy and Tariff Repeal Act is uniting unlikely supporters of every stripe. Below are key excerpts from pieces by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Heritage Foundation, both of which hone in on the need to end the tariff on imported ethanol.

San Francisco Chronicle – It’s time to end ethanol subsidies
Friday, May 13, 2011

America's ethanol subsidies and tariffs are outdated, expensive and damaging. There's no good reason we should continue offering them, and a bipartisan pair of U.S. senators have sponsored an amendment to abolish them.

There are three subsidies and tax credits for ethanol. One of them is a 45-cent-per-gallon blender's tax credit. That subsidy alone costs taxpayers about $6 billion a year.

Another is a 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, which is less expensive than the domestic product. This supports American agribusiness - and not the U.S. taxpayer. It also encourages our consumption of foreign oil, because it's cheaper to import oil than it is to import ethanol.


The Heritage Foundation – Ethanol: A Corny Trade Policy
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gas prices are on the rise again. The national average is now just under $4.00 a gallon, and it’s sure to rise as the summer driving season rolls near. The pesky detail not often mentioned is that our ethanol policy is a contributing factor toward these higher fuel prices.

The United States is the world’s largest producer of ethanol, with Brazil a close second. However, Brazil’s sugar-based ethanol is cheaper, more efficient, and cleaner burning than our corn-based product. Yet special interests have managed a rather sweet deal for our domestic producers.

… Since 1980, there has been a tariff—currently 54 cents per gallon—on imported ethanol. That means Congress’s attempt at going “green” has resulted in another instance of the government embezzling more green from our wallets. By imposing this tariff on cheaper foreign sources (mainly Brazil), Congress has artificially raised the price that we are all forced to pay and has steered the market away from a more efficient, cleaner source of fuel.

… Congress should move toward ending this outdated tariff and let the free market work.

And it doesn’t stop there. Leadings papers in Texas and New York also weighed in with clear calls to eliminate these costly and unnecessary policies that block access to cleaner, affordable alternatives like sugarcane ethanol from Brazil. It’s an encouraging sign to see support extend across such broad political and geographic boundaries – these add to nearly 200 editorials, op-eds and letters to the editor published in 40 states since last year. If ending wasteful government spending and reducing prices at the pump for American drivers are top priorities for Congress, ethanol policy is a great place to start.

copyright 2010 Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association