- Ethanol Lobbies Congress to Extend Wasteful Tax Credit
Ethanol Lobbies Congress to Extend Wasteful Tax Credit
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With the United States experiencing rising national debt and serious environmental issues, corn-belt Congressmen and women are supporting legislation that will exacerbate both problems. The Orwellian named 2010 Green Jobs Act seeks to extend the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) until 2015. This is a $.45 credit given per gallon of ethanol blended with gasoline. Yet the recipients of this tax credit are already required by law to blend a certain percentage of ethanol into gasoline, therefore not creating more jobs or encouraging the production of more ethanol.
The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) contained the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates an increase to 36 billion gallons by 2022 in the volume of renewable fuels blended into transportation fuel. Under the requirements of this act, fuel producers must already blend ethanol and other renewable fuels into the traditional fossil fuels they supply. When the RFS was enacted, it replaced VEETC as the main driver of biofuel production, making VEETC obsolete. But the federal government, buoyed with support from special interests, has provided them with the extraneous subsidy (VEETC) despite the fact that it does not increase ethanol production. Ethanol industry groups such as Growth Energy are working hard to convince politicians to extend this wasteful credit.
Friends of the Earth, along with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Clean Air Task Force, has begun a campaign against the ethanol lobby and their efforts to extend VEETC. Tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money has already been wasted under the credit. And these funds do little more than to further line the coffers of the oil industry. This coalition is working to prevent an additional 30 billion plus dollars from being lavished on the industry to fulfill a legally mandated requirement to blend an environmentally harmful fuel into another environmentally harmful one.