Senators Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., have introduced a bill to repeal what they call "the costly and ineffective Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit," which provides 45 cents per gallon to blenders of ethanol. The Senators say this would save taxpayers $6 billion. Cardin points to a report released by the Government Accountability Office describing the tax credit as largely unneeded today to ensure demand for domestic ethanol production.
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says that at a time when gas prices are rising due to our dependence on foreign oil, this is the wrong choice at the wrong time. Buis suggests Senators Coburn and Cardin introduce legislation requiring the oil industry to do the same. Buis says ethanol is the only significant progress this nation has made in reducing our dependence on foreign oil since the OPEC oil embargo.
Meantime, Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, says it makes no sense to deprive Americans of a lower cost choice at the gas pump or to stop America's investment in an American-made, job-creating alternative to foreign oil at a time of rapidly rising gas prices that threaten a fragile American economic recovery.
"If recharging our economy is a top fiscal and economic priority for these Senators then Job One should be redirecting the $1 billion a day we spend on foreign oil back into the U.S. economy," Dinneen said. "Ethanol is part of the solution, not the problem."