McDonald’s isn’t lovin’ it; Proposes no-ethanol diet plan for super committee

Posted Sep. 15, 2011 / Posted by: Michal Rosenoer

On September 15, 2011, McDonald’s and 14 other chain restaurants called on the super committee to go on a diet by cutting back on corn subsidies.

Citing high corn prices, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and many of its members urged Congress to allow VEETC (the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit) to expire this December. VEETC costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year by providing tax breaks to the oil industry for blending ethanol into fuel, which it is already required to do by law (via the Renewable Fuel Standard 2). With 15 company signatories ranging from McDonald’s and Burger King to Dunkin Donuts and Domino’s Pizza, the letter is the first time chain restaurants have spoken in unison against the tax credit.

NCCR claims that Congress can no longer afford to subsidize corn ethanol, which diverts more than 40 percent of America’s corn crop away from animal feed stocks and human consumption. The subsidy puts more pressure on corn prices, which have been rising this year due to the extraordinarily hot and dry weather this summer.

Subsidizing corn ethanol only serves to increase the already rising costs of meat, milk and dairy for consumers. To continue giving tax breaks to dirty, polluting ethanol at the expense of taxpayer’s wallets is wasteful and irresponsible.

On September 12, 2011, 104 other organizations, including Friends of the Earth, signed a similar letter to Congress opposing VEETC and other subsidies for corn ethanol. There is a clear consensus among environmental groups, hunger advocates, fiscal conservatives, animal agriculture and now among chain restaurants that tax breaks and subsidies for corn ethanol must end.

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