Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Nation / World News

July 7, 2011

Senators propose immediate end to ethanol credit

"Consistent with the Administration's goals, this deal provides a roadmap for the American biofuels industry to navigate their own future expansion —

Washington, D.C. — Two senators from ethanol-producing states proposed Thursday to immediately end a tax credit for the corn-based fuel and agreeing to support shifting some of that money to debt reduction.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, R-S.D., along with ethanol opponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have proposed diverting $1.3 billion of the money remaining for the tax break this year to pay for debt reduction. And $668 million will be used for incentives for the ethanol and biofuels industries.

If accepted by the House and the Obama administration, the compromise could provide a quick path to end the ethanol credit as part of budget negotiations between Congress and the White House. The Senate last month adopted an amendment to end the $5 billion subsidy, but the fate of the legislation to which it's attached — a bill renewing a federal economic development program — is uncertain.

The White House signaled support for the deal.

"Consistent with the Administration's goals, this deal provides a roadmap for the American biofuels industry to navigate their own future expansion — addressing infrastructure needs while supporting innovation for the next generations of biofuels," said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich.

The ethanol industry once enjoyed strong support from Congress, but it has suffered as lawmakers have looked for ways to cut budgets and have started to question why the industry still needs government help after three decades of production. The Senate vote last month signaled that the tax credit, scheduled to expire at the end of the year, was probably doomed.

The compromise between the three senators would end the tax credit at the end of this month and redistribute the $2 billion left over for the year. It also would allow the ethanol industry to salvage at least some of the federal subsidy money.

Critics say ethanol subsidies are no longer needed for an industry that is already supported by a mandate from Congress that requires refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels into auto fuel by 2022.

As that criticism has become louder, Klobuchar and other farm-state members have worked with the industry to find alternate ways to spur production without spending as much taxpayer money.

"The better thing to do is to end it now and go on a more prudent course going forward," said Klobuchar.

The $668 million in incentives will go to help gas stations deliver the fuel to consumers, to the smallest producers who may be hurt the most by the elimination of the tax credit and to producers trying to make ethanol from materials other than corn.

Ethanol industry groups praised the agreement Thursday, signaling it is the best they can do as Washington has trained a skeptical eye on their business. Just last year, many in the industry were hoping the full $5 billion tax break could be diverted for industry incentives.

"This proposal will benefit consumers at the pump, reduce our dependence on foreign oil by investing in next-generation biofuels, and make a significant contribution to reducing our nation's budget deficit," said Tom Buis, the head of industry group Growth Energy.

___

Follow Mary Clare Jalonick on Twitter at http//www.twitter.com/MCJalonick



Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

1
Text Only
Nation / World News
  • 03-05 Henryville 4 wb.jpg SLIDESHOW: Aftermath of Indiana tornado Residents in Henryville, Ind., surveyed the damage Saturday after a deadly EF-4 tornado touched down Friday evening, ripping apart homes, schools and businesses.

    March 5, 2012

  • image_preview.jpeg Group honors troop remains dumped in landfill

    Maybe it's because they live just a few miles from a stone memorial to Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson's severed left arm. But when a group of residents from Virginia's Northern Neck heard that the cremated body parts of American troops had been dumped unceremoniously in a local landfill, they knew what to do: Mark the place - rotting garbage and all - as sacred ground.

    September 25, 2012 1 Photo

  • US unemployment aid applications stay at 370,000

    The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits was unchanged last week, suggesting modest but steady gains in the job market.

    May 17, 2012

  • No Child Left Behind: 10 states fleeing education law

    President Barack Obama on Thursday declared that 10 states are free from the No Child Left Behind law, allowing them to scrap some of the most rigorous and unpopular mandates in American education. In exchange, the states are promising higher standards and more creative ways to measure what students are learning.

    February 9, 2012

  • volkswagon.jpg Best Super Bowl ad? Vote for your favorite

    Naked M&Ms, an out-of-shape dog on a mission and Clint Eastwood delivering a passionate speech about American adversity -- these are among the favorite commercials that aired during Sunday's Super Bowl.

    February 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • flour-mess.jpg Viral video: Kids cover living room in flour

    There's no question toddlers are capable of making some serious messes, and the latest viral video making the rounds on YouTube claims to show an award-winning mess made by two boys and a bag of flour.

    November 23, 2011 1 Photo

  • smoking.jpg States with most, fewest smokers revealed

    Which states have the highest smoking rates, and which have the lowest? New data released Thursday about smoking rates coincides with the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout.

    November 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • OSU-crash.jpg Slideshow: Other tragic plane crashes in sports history The sports world has lost several athletes and even whole teams to air tragedies such as the one that took the lives of the Oklahoma State University women's basketball coach and his assistant on Thursday night.

    November 19, 2011

  • Pipeline Protest.jpg US delays massive oil pipeline from Canada

    The Obama administration said Thursday it is delaying approval of a massive oil pipeline until it can study new potential routes that avoid environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska, an action that likely puts off a decision until after the 2012 election.

    November 10, 2011 1 Photo

  • Libya confirms Gadhafi has been killed

    Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril says Moammar Gadhafi has been killed.

    "We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Moammar Gadhafi has been killed," Jibril told a news conference in the capital Tripoli.

    During nearly 42 years in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi was one of the world's most eccentric dictators, so mercurial that he was both condemned and courted by the West, while he brutally warped his country with his idiosyncratic vision of autocratic rule until he was finally toppled by his own people.

    October 20, 2011

Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Stocks
Facebook