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Editorial: Cut the Ethanol Subsidy, But Be Fair

Submitted by on June 27, 2011 – 4:46 pmNo Comment

(StarTribune)  Why is one fuel being targeted but another — oil — isn’t? …The best way to pay down the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt?

“Reducing wasteful spending a billion dollars at a time,” Coburn said.

Coburn has a point about the ethanol industry, which has enjoyed for far too long a government support hat trick: a blender tax credit of 45 cents per gallon, a tariff on foreign ethanol and a mandate requiring a set amount of ethanol to be used.

But where was this oil-state senator’s deficit piety a month ago when he and other Republican senators led the charge to protect billion-dollar tax breaks for major oil companies? In May, with the industry reaping near-record profits, Coburn was one of 48 mostly GOP senators who voted to keep key oil tax incentives intact.

…The Coburn-Feinstein measure would save about $6 billion a year in ethanol incentives. Reducing tax credits for the big five oil companies could save up to $21 billion over the next decade. READ MORE and MORE (AgInfo) and MORE (Washington Post)

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