Enviromental Groups Tell Congress: End Ethanol Subsidy to Big Oil
For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2010
Brendan Bell, Union of Concerned Scientists, 202.223.6133, [email protected]
Nathanael Greene, Natural Resources Defense Council, 212.254.0160, [email protected]
Kate McMahon, Friends of the Earth, 202.222.0714, [email protected]
Environmental Advocates Call for End to Ethanol Subsidy
Ad Labels Blender Tax Credit a $21 Billion Handout to Big Oil
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Union of Concerned Scientists, Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth and Clean Air Task Force are calling on Congress to let the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) expire at the end of the year.
The tax credit, which has totaled nearly $21 billion over the past 5 years, goes to oil companies for mixing ethanol into their gasoline. The tax credit is in addition to existing laws that require the blending of ethanol into gas.
“We’re paying Big Oil billions in taxpayer dollars simply to obey the law,” said Brendan Bell of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The subsidy is redundant, and it blocks investments in cleaner, advanced biofuels.”
The four groups have taken out an advertisement in Congress Daily criticizing VEETC and calling for lawmakers to allow it to expire at the end of 2010. If renewed, an additional $31 billion in tax credits will flow to oil company coffers between 2011-2015.
“In this economic climate, Big Oil is still posting record profits while our nation struggles to address huge budget shortfalls,” said Nathanael Greene of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Rather than subsidizing our dependence on oil, we should be using those tax dollars to invest in our shift to a clean energy economy.”
The groups propose shifting investment to clean energy sources that cut global warming pollution, create new jobs, and do not contribute to the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture.
“Paying Big Oil to blend dirty corn ethanol into dirty gasoline is a waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Kate McMahon, Energy Policy Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Extending VEETC would only pump even more taxpayer dollars into the coffers of oil companies like BP. VEETC is just one more scheme by dirty fuels to siphon taxpayer dollars away from real solutions.”
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