Senators Push To Extend Ethanol Tax Credits

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With the ethanol tax credits set to expire at the end of 2010, some U.S. Senators are waging a battle to save the ethanol industry payoff from expiration.

Saying that ethanol offers the most effective alternative to foreign oil and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States, Senators Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), and Charles Grassley (R-IA) have gathered signatures for a letter to Senate leaders urging action this year on legislation to extend renewable fuel tax and tariff provisions.

The senators said immediate action is warranted to “provide stability and certainty for producers and consumers of renewable fuels. The tax credits for ethanol cost taxpayers $6 billion in 2009 alone.

Conrad and Grassley are pressing for renewal of the corn ethanol tax credit and the ethanol tariff through 2015, according to the Washington Post.

Typically, the farm lobby has won out on such issues. But this year, the “gratuitous” tax credits are meeting stronger than usual opposition from a bloc of fiscal conservatives and environmentalists including such strange bedfellows such as Tea Party organizer FreedomWorks and ultra-liberal pressure group - even Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and former vice president Al Gore.

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Source: PORK magazine, The Washington Post

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