Illinois Corn Growers Association President Jim Reed, a family farmer from Monticello, IL, released the following statement today after learning the U.S. Senate confirmed support for renewable fuels by defeating Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla) anti-ethanol amendment.
“The defeat of Senator Coburn’s efforts to pull the rug out from under the domestic ethanol industry indicates that the Senate understands the vital role ethanol plays in the overall health of the U.S. economy. Domestic ethanol production provides jobs in rural areas, and provides savings at the pump every time cash-strapped Americans fuel up.
Illinois Corn Growers Association members understand, however, that change is necessary as our government endeavors to make prudent budget decisions. That’s why ICGA has for months been in support of an immediate move to a variable ethanol tax credit and incentives to promote infrastructure development to deliver homegrown, renewable fuels to retail locations around the country. ICGA members have long supported the need to be a proactive element in reducing the federal deficit.
To that end, ICGA is pleased to thank Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill) who support the passage of legislation titled the, ‘Ethanol Reform and Deficit Reduction Act introduced by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.). This legislation would immediately end the ethanol tax credit in its current form and move to a variable tax credit that responds to market conditions, thereby resulting in savings to the budget.
Gratitude is due to Senators Durbin and Kirk, as well, who played a vital role in defeating the Coburn amendment. The amendment did nothing to save consumers at the pump and ignored all government subsidies to the oil industry which continues to rake in profits as the economy lags overall.
An immediate move to a variable credit allows for the type of necessary action that responsible citizens and industries can undertake to be part of the solution to the federal deficit and budget difficulties. Thune’s legislation is the best possible option to reduce federal expenditures to the ethanol industry, secure ethanol producers a safety net, and preserve the price advantage that saves Americans cash with every gallon of ethanol blended gasoline they purchase.”