Climate & Energy Blog

Broad Coalition Applauds Sens. Coburn and Cardin for Legislation to End Ethanol Subsidies

Posted Mar. 9, 2011 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

Broad and Diverse Coalition Applauds Senators Coburn and Cardin for Legislation to End Ethanol Subsidies

 

Contact:  Brendan McLaughlin, brendan@resource-media.org,  206. 374.7795 x108

 

WASHINGTON, DC-  A broad and diverse coalition of business associations, taxpayer advocates, hunger and development organizations, agricultural groups, free-market groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks, and public interest organizations today sent a letter applauding Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Cardin (D-MD) for reaching across the aisle to introduce bi-partisan legislation to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).  This tax credit subsidizes the blending of corn-based ethanol into gasoline. The legislation, if enacted immediately, would save taxpayers nearly $4 billion during the remainder of 2011. 

 

The coalition letter is attached and statements from members of the coalition follow below.

 

Kate McMahon, Biofuels Campaign Coordinator, Friends of the Earth

“We applaud Senators Cardin and Coburn for their bipartisan leadership toward saving billions in taxpayer dollars. It is encouraging to see lawmakers putting aside partisan politics and reaching across the aisle to end corporate welfare to profitable dirty energy companies, especially during this economically perilous time.”

 

Joel Brandenberger, president, National Turkey Federation

“NTF commends Sens Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Ben Cardin, D- Md., for introducing legislation to eliminate the Volumetric EthanolExcise Tax Credit (VEETC).  Food and energy should never have to compete with each other for key inputs because of government mandates.  The corn-based ethanol industry has received more than 30 years of support and protection at the expense of the American taxpayer and those in animal agriculture who use corn for feed.  Therefore, NTF supports eliminating the tax credit for ethanol.”

 

Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

"The refundable VEETC is a prime example of tax policy at its worst. Congress needs to focus on simplifying the tax law and cutting rates for everyone, rather than manipulating the tax law and distorting our economy."

 

Marie Brill, Sr. Policy Analyst, ActionAid USA

“In the context of record breaking high food prices, the U.S. can invest in national security and global economic recovery while saving taxpayer dollars by eliminating the duplicitous corn ethanol subsidy.”

 

Ryan Alexander, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense

“It’s well past time to cast this wasteful subsidy aside. With the yawning budget deficit we cannot afford to throw away billions more this year on the tax credit. Congress should end the subsidy immediately.”

 

Geoff Moody, director of energy and environmental policy, Grocery Manufacturers Association

“GMA applauds Senators Coburn and Cardin for introducing the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit Repeal Act.  Thirty years of subsidies and mandates have made the U.S. corn ethanol industry the largest biofuels industry in the world, consuming 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop.  It is now time for the industry to stand on its own without being propped up by the American taxpayer.  This legislation is an important step in that direction and toward reducing our reliance on food and feed for fuel.  We urge Congress to pass this important legislation quickly.”

 

George Watts, president, National Chicken Council

 “VEETC is an expensive relic of an outdated policy that this country doesn’t need and can no longer afford.  We urge Congress to eliminate VEETC as soon as possible.”

 

Robb MacKie, president and CEO, American Bakers Association

“The American Bakers Association (ABA) commends Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Cardin (D-MD) for reaching across the aisle to introduce bi-partisan legislation to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). After thirty years of government subsidies and mandates it is time for ethanol to leave the nest and fly on its own.”  

 

Bill Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government

“It is time to end the practice of the federal government picking winners and losers in the energy field by ending the corn/ethanol subsidy and allowing this resource to compete in the free market.  Taxpayers simply cannot afford this subsidy any longer.”

 

Marlo Lewis, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

“Henry Ford built his first car, the Quadricycle, to run on pure ethanol. That was in 1896. In 1908, Ford built the first flexible fuel vehicle capable of running on either gasoline or ethanol. Today, more than a hundred years later, the perennial infant known as the corn-ethanol industry still can’t ‘compete’ without government coddling. We commend Senators Cardin and Coburn for challenging Congress to stop throwing good money after bad.”

 

Sheila Karpf, legislative and policy analyst, Environmental Working Group 

 “In America, we burn seven times as much corn in cars as we keep in our own stockpiles, and the diversion of just a few more bushels to gas tanks sends shockwaves through commodity markets and food price indices. Incentives and subsidies to produce more corn ethanol only makes it harder for people in developing countries to put food on the table, and should be done away with." 

 

J. Patrick Boyle, president and CEO, American Meat Institute

 “With the U.S. corn supply at record lows, corn prices at record highs and ethanol production absorbing 40 percent of U.S. corn production, government subsidies for corn-based ethanol, like VEETC, continue to artificially inflate the market for corn.  As a result, the cost of feeding livestock has increased, which in turn drives up the cost of food production for everyone in the supply chain, trickling down to the consumer.  This bipartisan bill is an important step in reversing that trend, and I applaud Senators Coburn and Cardin for their leadership on this issue. This legislation not only would benefit American consumers who are struggling with escalating food prices, but would save American taxpayers $4 billion this year.  At a time of record federal deficits, coupled with rising food prices both at home and abroad, it is time the mature corn-based ethanol industry operates on a level playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major input.”

 

Rob Green, Executive Director, National Council of Chain Restaurants

“The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) commends Senators Cardin and Coburn for their leadership in introducing this bipartisan legislation to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).  Repeal of the ethanol subsidy is sound public policy and is long overdue.  NCCR urges other Senators co-sponsor the bill and we look forward to working with our coalition allies to seek prompt passage of this important measure.”

 

Julie Sibbing, Director of Agriculture Programs, National Wildlife Federation

“At a time when Congress is considering deep and painful budget cuts across the board, wasteful and duplicative tax credits for corn ethanol, which cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year, should be the first to go.  The National Wildlife Federation applauds Senators Cardin and Coburn for their leadership.”

 

Barry Carpenter, CEO, National Meat Association
"Senators Coburn and Cardin have the right idea, it's time to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).  Government support for alternative energy production should not result in higher food prices."  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Brendan McLaughlin, brendan@resource-media.org,  206. 374.7795 x108

WASHINGTON, DC -- A broad and diverse coalition of business associations, taxpayer advocates, hunger and development organizations, agricultural groups, free-market groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks, and public interest organizations today sent a letter applauding Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Cardin (D-MD) for reaching across the aisle to introduce bi-partisan legislation to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).  This tax credit subsidizes the blending of corn-based ethanol into gasoline. The legislation, if enacted immediately, would save taxpayers nearly $4 billion during the remainder of 2011. 

The coalition letter is available at http://foe.org/sites/default/files/Coburn-CardinSupportLetter.pdf (PDF) and statements from members of the coalition follow below.

Kate McMahon, Biofuels Campaign Coordinator, Friends of the Earth

“We applaud Senators Cardin and Coburn for their bipartisan leadership toward saving billions in taxpayer dollars. It is encouraging to see lawmakers putting aside partisan politics and reaching across the aisle to end corporate welfare to profitable dirty energy companies, especially during this economically perilous time.”

Joel Brandenberger, president, National Turkey Federation

“NTF commends Sens Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Ben Cardin, D- Md., for introducing legislation to eliminate the Volumetric EthanolExcise Tax Credit (VEETC).  Food and energy should never have to compete with each other for key inputs because of government mandates.  The corn-based ethanol industry has received more than 30 years of support and protection at the expense of the American taxpayer and those in animal agriculture who use corn for feed.  Therefore, NTF supports eliminating the tax credit for ethanol.”

Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

"The refundable VEETC is a prime example of tax policy at its worst. Congress needs to focus on simplifying the tax law and cutting rates for everyone, rather than manipulating the tax law and distorting our economy."

Marie Brill, Sr. Policy Analyst, ActionAid USA

“In the context of record breaking high food prices, the U.S. can invest in national security and global economic recovery while saving taxpayer dollars by eliminating the duplicitous corn ethanol subsidy.”

Ryan Alexander, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense

“It’s well past time to cast this wasteful subsidy aside. With the yawning budget deficit we cannot afford to throw away billions more this year on the tax credit. Congress should end the subsidy immediately.”

Geoff Moody, director of energy and environmental policy, Grocery Manufacturers Association

“GMA applauds Senators Coburn and Cardin for introducing the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit Repeal Act.  Thirty years of subsidies and mandates have made the U.S. corn ethanol industry the largest biofuels industry in the world, consuming 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop.  It is now time for the industry to stand on its own without being propped up by the American taxpayer.  This legislation is an important step in that direction and toward reducing our reliance on food and feed for fuel.  We urge Congress to pass this important legislation quickly.”

George Watts, president, National Chicken Council

 “VEETC is an expensive relic of an outdated policy that this country doesn’t need and can no longer afford.  We urge Congress to eliminate VEETC as soon as possible.”

Robb MacKie, president and CEO, American Bakers Association

“The American Bakers Association (ABA) commends Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Cardin (D-MD) for reaching across the aisle to introduce bi-partisan legislation to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). After thirty years of government subsidies and mandates it is time for ethanol to leave the nest and fly on its own.”  

Bill Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government

“It is time to end the practice of the federal government picking winners and losers in the energy field by ending the corn/ethanol subsidy and allowing this resource to compete in the free market.  Taxpayers simply cannot afford this subsidy any longer.”

Marlo Lewis, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

“Henry Ford built his first car, the Quadricycle, to run on pure ethanol. That was in 1896. In 1908, Ford built the first flexible fuel vehicle capable of running on either gasoline or ethanol. Today, more than a hundred years later, the perennial infant known as the corn-ethanol industry still can’t ‘compete’ without government coddling. We commend Senators Cardin and Coburn for challenging Congress to stop throwing good money after bad.”

Sheila Karpf, legislative and policy analyst, Environmental Working Group 

 “In America, we burn seven times as much corn in cars as we keep in our own stockpiles, and the diversion of just a few more bushels to gas tanks sends shockwaves through commodity markets and food price indices. Incentives and subsidies to produce more corn ethanol only makes it harder for people in developing countries to put food on the table, and should be done away with."

J. Patrick Boyle, president and CEO, American Meat Institute

 “With the U.S. corn supply at record lows, corn prices at record highs and ethanol production absorbing 40 percent of U.S. corn production, government subsidies for corn-based ethanol, like VEETC, continue to artificially inflate the market for corn.  As a result, the cost of feeding livestock has increased, which in turn drives up the cost of food production for everyone in the supply chain, trickling down to the consumer.  This bipartisan bill is an important step in reversing that trend, and I applaud Senators Coburn and Cardin for their leadership on this issue. This legislation not only would benefit American consumers who are struggling with escalating food prices, but would save American taxpayers $4 billion this year.  At a time of record federal deficits, coupled with rising food prices both at home and abroad, it is time the mature corn-based ethanol industry operates on a level playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major input.”

Rob Green, Executive Director, National Council of Chain Restaurants

“The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) commends Senators Cardin and Coburn for their leadership in introducing this bipartisan legislation to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).  Repeal of the ethanol subsidy is sound public policy and is long overdue.  NCCR urges other Senators co-sponsor the bill and we look forward to working with our coalition allies to seek prompt passage of this important measure.”

Julie Sibbing, Director of Agriculture Programs, National Wildlife Federation

“At a time when Congress is considering deep and painful budget cuts across the board, wasteful and duplicative tax credits for corn ethanol, which cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year, should be the first to go.  The National Wildlife Federation applauds Senators Cardin and Coburn for their leadership.”

Barry Carpenter, CEO, National Meat Association
"Senators Coburn and Cardin have the right idea, it's time to end the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC).  Government support for alternative energy production should not result in higher food prices."

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