The United States Senate today voted down an amendment by Tom Coburn to eliminate the blenders tax credit for ethanol, as well as the ethanol import tariff, by a final vote of 40-59. Environment America Staff AttorneyDaniel Gatti issued this statement in response:
"The government subsidy for corn ethanol is worse than a waste of money, it’s an artificial and unnecessary subsidy of destructive environmental practices that pollute our air and water. Instead of handing billions in taxpayer subsidies to large agribusinesses, most of which end up in the pockets of corporate executives rather than farmers, we should be investing in sustainable agricultural practices that will produce clean water, provide safe, high quality food for consumers, and create good jobs for farmers.
"While it is critical that the United States makes investments in alternative fuels that will get us off oil, corn ethanol is not a viable alternative to oil. Corn ethanolrequires massive use of land and water resources to provide enough quantity to significantly reduce oil consumption, driving up the global price of food, causing starvation for millions of people around the world and increasing net global warming emissions.
"Instead of providing handouts to agribusiness, we should be investing in technologies that have real promise in getting this country off of oil, such as electric vehicles and sustainable advanced biofuels. These technologies can create true energy security while cleaning our air, protecting our beaches and oceans, and saving consumers billions at the gas pump."