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73 House Leaders Call for Elimination of Ethanol Tariff

by Leticia Phillips on Dec 13, 2011

Last Friday, a bipartisan group of 73 Members of the House of Representatives joined together to call for an end to the ethanol tax credit and import tariff as scheduled on December 31st. They sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asking that leadership “resist calls to expand or create new ethanol subsidies in the eleventh hour” as the first session of the 112th Congress nears its conclusion.

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Last Friday, a bipartisan group of 73 Members of the House of Representatives joined together to call for an end to the ethanol tax credit and import tariff as scheduled on December 31st. They sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asking that leadership “resist calls to expand or create new ethanol subsidies in the eleventh hour” as the first session of the 112th Congress nears its conclusion.

Implemented 30 years ago to help sustain the nascent ethanol industry, the ethanol subsidies now cost Americans $6 billion a year. At a time when every penny of the budget is under scrutiny, it makes no sense to continue funding an industry that, just this year, surpassed Brazil to become the world’s leading ethanol exporter. The letter summarizes the current situation well:

“The ethanol industry has benefited from a tax credit incentivizing production, an import tariff shielding it from competition, and a renewable fuels mandate creating demand… Congress anticipated the ethanol industry one day being sufficiently mature to stand on its own. It is difficult to make the argument that this day has not arrived… With widespread concern across a spectrum of issues… extending a billion dollar ethanol tax credit would appear out of the question and the prohibitive import tariff should be allowed to expire as well.”

This strong statement of support represents districts from across the country, with signatures from members in 30 different states.  Additionally, 43 Republicans and 30 Democrats joined the letter, serving as a poignant reminder that bipartisanship is still alive in today’s divisive political world.

We applaud these 73 Members for speaking with one voice to secure a huge victory for the American taxpayer. The U.S. Senate already made its position on the ethanol tariff and tax subsidy crystal clear earlier this year by voting in a strongly bipartisan way (73-27) to end both the tariff and tax credit. With no further action needed, Congress can usher in a new era of energy efficiency and secure a better America for decades to come.

For further information, the full text of the letter and list of member signatures is available here.

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