Climate & Energy Blog

Statement in Response to Senator Grassley’s Ethanol Fear Mongering

Posted Dec. 7, 2010 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

For Immediate Release
December 2, 2010

Contact:
Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, ktrout@foe.org
Kate McMahon, 202-222-0715, kmcmahon@foe.org

Statement in Response to Senator Grassley’s Ethanol Fear Mongering

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, in a floor speech, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) invoked fear and prejudice to justify his support for the extension of an expensive and wasteful subsidy for corn ethanol, called “the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit” or “VEETC.” As reported by Greenwire (subscription req’d), Senator Grassley stated that removing taxpayer subsidies for ethanol will cause us to become “more dependent on those oil sheiks.” Sheik is a word commonly used to refer to Arabic leaders and Islamic scholars.

Friends of the Earth’s biofuels campaign coordinator, Kate McMahon, had the following statement in response:

“Scare tactics don’t get us good energy policy. We need to end subsidies for all dirty and dangerous fuels and corn ethanol is one of them. There are far better ways to spend $6 billion dollars. It is difficult to justify this type of corporate welfare while people around the country are hurting financially.”

Congress is currently debating the expiration of a $6 billion a year subsidy that pays the oil industry to blend ethanol into gasoline. This subsidy has been debunked as duplicative and unnecessary by leading economists. According to an analysis by Advanced Economic Solutions, maintaining the ethanol subsidy in 2011 would increase ethanol production by a mere 400 million gallons at a cost to taxpayers of more than $15 per gallon.

The extension of VEETC is opposed by dozens of trade associations and public interest groups, as well as a long list of senators from across the political spectrum.

A coalition letter signed by 59 groups opposing the VEETC extension is available at: http://action.foe.org/o/455/images/Coalition-VEETC-Opposition-Letter.pdf

A letter from senators opposing the extension of the VEETC is available at: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=NewsRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=9dc7dae1-5056-8059-76e3-f312b0ac5587&Region_id=&Issue_id=

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Friends of the Earth and our federation of grassroots groups in 76 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world.  Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

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