Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today joined U.S. Reps. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Steve Womack (R-AK) in calling for a debate on the House floor regarding the future of the federal ethanol policy. Lance argues that federal subsidies for ethanol are duplicative and wasteful.
Specifically, the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit is a federal policy that provides a subsidy of 45 cents a gallon for blending ethanol into gasoline. In a release, Lance noted that the U.S. Government Accountability Office recently recommended that a permanent repeal of the ethanol tax credit would save taxpayers between $5.4 billion to $6.75 billion per year.
In a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Lance and his colleagues wrote:
“As we’re sure you are aware, the ethanol industry has long benefited from federal support in the form of tax credits, a protective import tariff, and the renewable fuels mandate. Nearly every aspect of the industry is federally subsidized, and this comes at a cost…Given the difficult fiscal decisions Congress faces and the focused attention on federal spending, taxpayers deserve a transparent process and regular order with respect to ethanol legislation.”
Lance introduced the Repeal Ethanol Subsidies Today Act, H.R. 1188, bipartisan legislation that would terminate the ethanol blenders tax credit that costs taxpayers approximately $6 billion a year. Lance stated that his bill has been endorsed by a broad coalition including Taxpayers for Common Sense, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Limited Government, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Grocery Manufacturer Association, American Meat Institute, and Oxfam America, among many others.