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39% of all corn produced in the U.S. goes to ethanol production   (Source: washingtonexaminer.com)
House to vote next

Lawmakers in Washington are working hard to write and pass laws that would have fuel efficiency standards in the U.S. changing drastically in coming years. While some in Washington support the new standards for vehicle efficiency, others oppose the standards. Along with mandating better fuel economy across a carmakers fleet, Washington is also seeing green and renewable fuel alternatives for vehicles.

In the U.S., ethanol has been added into the fuel we run in vehicles for years. Ethanol is as high as 10% in fuels today and some that are against ethanol, which is derived from corn, claim that the biofuel is increasing the price of some food items in America. A report published by the GAO claims that the use of ethanol has driven the cost of some food items up as much as 20%.

With all of Washington in cost cutting mode in an effort to shore up the federal budget lawmakers are looking at everywhere money can be saved. One place that some in the Senate want to save money is by repealing the subsidy on ethanol. The Senate voted Thursday 73-27 to end a $0.45 per gallon tax credit on ethanol-blended gasoline starting on July 1. According to those that support the repeal, the subsidy cost taxpayers $5.6 billion last year.

Growth Energy, and ethanol association, CEO Tom Buis said, "The Senate missed an enormous opportunity to take real action on deficit reduction and energy policy when it failed to put oil subsidies and giveaways to the same test as ethanol."

On the other side of the coin, Kate McMahon coordinator of biofuels campaigns for Friends of the Earth said, "Senators scored a win for the public and for the environment by voting to end this $6 billion giveaway." She continued saying, "[the Senate delivered a message] that the ethanol industry's days of living high off the taxpayers' hog have come to an end."

The effort to end the ethanol subsidy now goes to the House for voting. White House spokesman Jay Carney says that the Obama administration supports a reduction in the ethanol subsidy, but does not support a full repeal. Some claim that 39% of the corn produced in the U.S. is currently going into fuel tanks. With the costs to reach the proposed 62mpg regulations for fuel economy reaching nearly $10,000, some automakers are calling for the removal of ethanol from gasoline. Ethanol is renewable and greener than petroleum fuel, but reduces fuel economy.


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Good riddance.
By MrBlastman on 6/17/2011 2:06:41 PM , Rating: 5
Finally, something out of Washington I can agree with.




RE: Good riddance.
By HrilL on 6/17/2011 2:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
Completely agree as well. I was watching the arguments on Cspan2 the other morning and it was the only time I've ever agreed with Dianne Feinstein.

I think the DT stats on food prices are way off. The price of corn has gone up 200% since 2005. This leads to higher prices for pretty much every animal product as their number one food source is corn.


RE: Good riddance.
By superstition on 6/19/2011 3:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
"...it was the only time I've ever agreed with Dianne Feinstein."

That seems to say... better check this for overall quality. Congress has a habit of doing certain things for show (as does the White House -- such as with Dawn Johnsen's nomination).


RE: Good riddance.
By DigitalFreak on 6/17/2011 2:24:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Finally, something out of Washington I can agree with.


Don't be so quick. The Senate is just using this as a smokescreen to shift the money to ethanol infrastructure (subsidizing more ethanol pumps at gas stations, etc.).


RE: Good riddance.
By shin0bi272 on 6/19/2011 7:02:20 AM , Rating: 2
state your source.


RE: Good riddance.
By kattanna on 6/17/2011 2:25:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Finally, something out of Washington I can agree with


while i agree, remember that the house still has to vote on it and the president has to sign it.

hopefully though it will end


RE: Good riddance.
By Dorkyman on 6/17/2011 4:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad the article doesn't mention the Wall Street Journal article yesterday. After covering the same story the WSJ added that the chance of passage was zero because of something about the bill it was attached to, or whatever.

Still, a giant step in the right direction. Who woulda thought that Dems would be able to embrace Common Sense for once?


RE: Good riddance.
By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 11:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who woulda thought that Dems would be able to embrace Common Sense for once?

There's no way for you to know that. There's a good chance they know all too well the bill will never pass and decided to attach the "good idea" to it to pretend they give a rats a$$ about the people, which they don't. Neither party does.


RE: Good riddance.
By room200 on 6/17/2011 2:31:46 PM , Rating: 5
Now dump the oil subsidy.


RE: Good riddance.
By Flunk on 6/17/2011 3:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
And pay fair market prices? The populace would be in an uproar!


RE: Good riddance.
By Spuke on 6/17/2011 3:49:24 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And pay fair market prices? The populace would be in an uproar!
You actually think that the subsidy going to the oil companies is what keeps US prices "low"? LOL!!

PS - LMAO!!!


RE: Good riddance.
By torpor on 6/17/2011 3:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
If we chop the gas tax by a similar amount, I'd be happy to.


RE: Good riddance.
By Kurz on 6/17/2011 5:52:07 PM , Rating: 3
gas tax goes to paying for upkeep on roads.


RE: Good riddance.
By Targon on 6/18/2011 1:43:29 AM , Rating: 1
That is the theory, but in the same way that money in the Social Security fund wasn't supposed to be mis-appropriated, the gas tax revenues have all been redirected toward other things, like paying for the 30 government aides that some elected officials have.


RE: Good riddance.
By YashBudini on 6/18/2011 1:52:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
gas tax goes to paying for upkeep on roads.

Gas taxes here go into the general [slush] fund. What about your state?


RE: Good riddance.
By chick0n on 6/18/2011 8:29:43 AM , Rating: 1
Then maybe you should explain why the roads in NYC are the shittest roads I've ever seen ?

or it could be that Bloomberg has spent it all on useless bike lanes/bus lanes/parks that no one ever use it/make the already jam pack roads EVEN narrower/etc.

Just not using them to fix the roads/potholes ?


RE: Good riddance.
By YashBudini on 6/18/2011 1:40:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Then maybe you should explain why the roads in NYC are the shittest roads I've ever seen ?

That's easily resolved. Try driving through PA to find a whole new low. But yeah NY is also one of those states that puts gas taxes into the general fund.

You neglected the biggest workfare program NY has created, the NYS Thruway. It's purpose is to satisfy political nepotism.


RE: Good riddance.
By YashBudini on 6/18/2011 1:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
chick0n,

It seems you got rated down merely for addressing me. The only thing more lacking on DT than adequate server HP is fairness. Oh well, not much you can do about flamers.


RE: Good riddance.
By shin0bi272 on 6/19/2011 7:12:59 AM , Rating: 2
All tax revenue goes into the general fund and is dispersed according to who lobbies the hardest for the most money.

Here in NC there's a yearly property tax just to have a car on the road... So not only do you have to pay tax, tag and processing when you buy a car, you also have to pay for registration, inspection, and then this tax. They claim its to help the roads but according to their little pie chart that they put on the bottom of the bill (which is bs of course) 65% of it goes to education and only 0.002% of it goes to the road. Yet we have a gas tax to "fix the roads" and a state lottery to "fund education" but we still have to pay this property tax.... oh yeah cause the government can never do with less of our money. Now you know why people have swiss bank accounts.


RE: Good riddance.
By YashBudini on 6/19/2011 4:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now you know why people have swiss bank accounts.

Yeah that's another overlooked piece of the pie the Heritage Foundation overlooks when it talks about how high tax rates are for the rich.


RE: Good riddance.
By shin0bi272 on 6/19/2011 7:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
better idea... the government (state and federal) add about a dollar a gallon to the price of gas while the oil subsidy only drops the price a few cents a gallon. Why not eliminate the gas taxes first then the oil subsidy wont have such an impact.

the "populace" wont be in such an uproar then will it?


RE: Good riddance.
By Jalek on 6/18/2011 3:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
This program had some ridiculous games being played with it, they got the credit if they dumped a few gallons of ethanol into a supertanker headed overseas as well.

It was going to expire anyway, note that they kept the agricultural subsidies and diversions, they just took out the easiest for political mileage.


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