As others see it: End ethanol aidFederal lawmakers never do things easily or simply, something proven true again with recent proposals to eliminate, redirect or in some way reduce about $6 billion in federal ethanol subsidies.
By: St. Cloud Times, Worthington Daily Globe
Federal lawmakers never do things easily or simply, something proven true again with recent proposals to eliminate, redirect or in some way reduce about $6 billion in federal ethanol subsidies.
While the House and Senate remain far from implementing definitive change, there is merit in the core message: These subsidies should be eliminated.
Yes, we realize that could hurt locally. After all, Minnesota is one of the top 10 states in ethanol production, and many Central Minnesotans benefit indirectly from this aid. However, three factors have to be considered, even in that context.
First, as evidenced in several recent national news reports, ending these subsidies doesn’t mean disaster for ethanol and farmers.
Citing several ethanol and commodities experts, The Associated Press recently reported “ ... it doesn't guarantee an end to the high prices that corn farmers have enjoyed and livestock producers and other food manufacturers have endured. That’s because of the second point: the ethanol industry likely would be fine without the subsidy and keep using just about as much corn as it has the past few years.”
Several points back up that belief, including that the 45-cent-a-gallon tax credit was set to expire Dec. 31. Also, that credit actually goes to oil companies so they buy ethanol and blend it with gas. Even without it, there still will be federal requirements pushing us to produce more renewable fuels such as ethanol. ...
Adequate federal requirements and market forces now exist to help ethanol keep a spot in America's growing portfolio of domestic energy sources.