Responding to an amendment (#220) filed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to the small business reauthorization bill currently under consideration on the Senate floor that would immediately repeal a tax incentive for ethanol use known as the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) issued the following statement:
"Given Sen. Coburn's interest in what he deems unnecessary subsidies, we would encourage him to offer an amendment that would eliminate subsidies to oil companies posting tens of billions of dollars in profit quarterly. In lieu of that, the RFA urges the Senate to ignore this frivolous amendment.
"Just last December, Congress extended the tax incentive for ethanol use and provided the kind of stability, albeit brief, that investors and markets demand. Reneging on that stability just four months after voting to provide it is the kind of job-killing, innovation-stalling policy that will keep America addicted to foreign oil.
"America imports nearly $1 billion worth of oil each day. In just one week, we will spend more on imported oil than we will on biofuel-related tax incentives in an entire year. And what do we get for that transfer of wealth? Each time a terrorist threatens a pipeline, our gas prices go up. Each time a tyrant turns violent against his peaceful countrymen, our gas prices go up. Each time a hurricane forms in the Gulf of Mexico, our gas prices go up.
"America's economy and its energy policy should not be at the mercy of the whims of dictators and the pique of those who may not fully appreciate the value of domestic renewable fuels. We should be investing in all renewable fuel technologies to give America more control over its energy future. The RFA is committed to such a path forward, working with those in the renewable fuels industry equally committed to establishing sound policy that address both economic and market access concerns, while providing for the commercialization of new ethanol technologies."
NCGA also disappointed
National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott released the following statement in response to Sen. Coburn’s amendment:
“We are disappointed that Senator Coburn is singling out the ethanol industry in his amendment to immediately repeal the VEETC while tax credits to the oil and gas industries remained untouched. The American ethanol industry provides and supports 400,000 jobs here in U.S. during a time of economic uncertainty. In addition, in the past year alone, ethanol added more than $50 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product and displaced the need for more than 360 million barrels of imported oil, valued at $16 billion.
“If this amendment passes, it could result in the ethanol industry reducing its production volume by 38% – approximately 4 billion of the 10.75 billion gallons produced in 2009. This loss in ethanol production would result in the shedding of approximately 112,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy. Can we afford that? We strongly urge the Senate to vote against Senator Coburn’s amendment.”