Tax Package Rewards Corn Ethanol Industry, Other Polluters

Tax Package Rewards Corn Ethanol Industry, Other Polluters

For Immediate Release


Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722, [email protected]

Nick Berning, 202-222-0748, [email protected]

Tax Package’s $6 Billion Giveaway to Corn Ethanol, Plus Other Polluter Handouts, Harm People and the Planet

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Late last night, the House of Representatives passed a tax package that extends subsidies for dirty fuels such as corn ethanol and liquid coal. The $860 billion package also extends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and establishes a low estate tax rate.  

Friends of the Earth’s biofuels campaign coordinator, Kate McMahon, responded:

“As tax cuts for millionaires and the looming expiration of unemployment protections stole the spotlight, Congress slipped a wasteful $6 billion giveaway to the dirty corn ethanol industry into this bill.

“An unprecedented coalition of taxpayer, libertarian, environmental, humanitarian, industry, agricultural, faith and progressive advocates united to oppose the extension of corn ethanol subsidies, but Congress lavished this gift on the corn ethanol industry anyway. This wasted money will line the pockets of polluting corporations while American families can barely afford to put food on the table.

“This bill also includes a massive giveaway to dirty liquid coal, an expensive fuel that just won’t die. We thought that we had finally rid ourselves of a fifty-cents-a-gallon liquid coal subsidy after it expired last January, but the handout is resuscitated in this bill. A wooden stake and garlic are apparently needed keep the dirty liquid coal industry from sucking taxpayers dry.

“Subsidies for dirty fuels are not the only problems with this bill. This tax package lines the pockets of millionaires and boosts the profit lines of some of the worst polluters while jeopardizing our government’s ability to fund essential public programs. Continuing the Bush tax giveaways for the wealthiest, setting a far-too-low estate tax, and upping polluter payouts will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. This is money that could otherwise be used to advance the common good.

“This is fundamentally unjust. The American public deserves a robust debate about our nation’s priorities, but this legislation has been railroaded by moneyed interests.”


Friends of the Earth and our network 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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