17 Jun '11, 8pm

Ethanol Industry Is Unruffled by Senate Vote Against Tax Breaks

The Senate dealt the ethanol industry a rare defeat on Thursday when it voted 73-27 to end the annual $6 billion tax break given to blenders of ethanol, along with a tariff on foreign ethanol intended to protect the domestic industry from Brazilian sugar ethanol imports. The vote was on an amendment to a bill with a very uncertain future, but it did suggest that Congress will be looking at ethanol when it takes an ax to federal spending to get the budget deficit and national debt under control later this summer. Does this mark a brutal turn for an industry that has depended on decades of federal largesse? Probably not. For starters, the biggest government support for ethanol — the renewable fuels standard, which mandates the use of up to 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol in transport fuels — would not be touched by the amendment and appears politically safe. The tariff cu...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/ethanol-industr...

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