Bakers in opposition to ethanol subsidies

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association, together with 89 other organizations, has written a letter to congressional leaders, calling for an end to the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.

The group also urged Congress to “resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.”
“In particular, Congress has the opportunity to end the $6 billion a year subsidy to gasoline refiners who blend corn ethanol into gasoline,” the group said. “At a time of spiraling deficits, we do not believe Congress should continue subsidizing gasoline refiners for something they are already required to do by the Renewable Fuels Standard.”

The letter quoted the Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office as concluding the subsidy is “unnecessary.”

The A.B.A. joined a wide range of food-related groups that signed the letter, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Snack Food Association in addition to 20-plus other food related groups. In addition to political groups from the right and left (both Americans for Limited Government and MoveOn.org signed), several environmental groups signed (Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club and World Wildlife Fund), religious groups (National Catholic Rural Life Conference, American Jewish World Service and Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth) and groups somehow related to the energy and automotive field (Oil Change International and Center for Auto Safety).

“After 30 years of government subsidies and mandates, it is time for ethanol to leave the nest and fly on its own,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A.
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