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The ethanol industry is claiming victory with its stoppage of John McCain's (R-AZ) amendment to an agriculture appropriations bill that would've prevented the government from subsidizing E85 blender pumps.

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Back in April, the Obama administration announced that it will offer incentives to gasoline stations that install E85 (a fuel consisting of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) blender pumps. This proposal, according to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, was put forth in an effort to get 10,000 additional E85 pumps installed nationwide.

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In a remarkable vote earlier this week, the U.S. Senate voted to end ethanol subsidies which total about $6 billion each year. It's great progress to see our lawmakers finally bringing some pragmatic fiscal and environmental common sense to the rag tag elements of transport energy policy.

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Just days ago, we reported that the United States Senate rejected an amendment that would have put an end to the the $6 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for producers of corn-based ethanol. Now, we're here to convey the message that the Senate actually approved the amendment. Was our initial report inaccurate? Um, no.

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Just days ago, we reported that the United States Senate rejected an amendment that would have put an end to the the $6 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for producers of corn-based ethanol. Now, we're here to convey the message that the Senate actually approved the amendment. Was our initial report inaccurate? Um, no. Tuesday's failed amendment was similar, but not identical, to the amendment that passed through the Senate on Thursday.

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Earlier today, the United States Senate rejected an amendment that would have put an end to the $6 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for producers of corn-based ethanol.

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Is all of the political fighting over ethanol subsidies kind of a moot point? Not entirely, but arguing over the role the biofuel will play in America in the future might be. This is the take from USDA chief economist Joe Glauber, who told Reuters point blank:

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There is apparently no official Republican position on ethanol subsidies. The other day, the party's 2008 presidential nominee, John McCain, said that "Agriculture subsidies are outrageous today. Ethanol is a joke." Then, one of the people hoping to be the party's 2012 nominee, came out in strong support for subsidies for ethanol made from corn. Speaking in Iowa, Gingrich also said that the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which has come out against these subsidies, is "just plain flat intell

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I think there may be efficiencies there. ... But we've got to take on some of the sacred cows, Bob. Well, agriculture subsidies are outrageous today. Ethanol is a joke. And it's a multi-billion-dollar spending agri-- at all egg subsidies, sugar subsidies, all this thing. They have to examine. The post office, a model of inefficiency, horse and buggies and the days of-- of-- when internets and communications of-- basically are-- are replacing it more and more. We have to go after the sacred co

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Venture capitalist and biofuel supporter Vinod Khosla wrote, "The time has now come for us to stop subsidizing corn ethanol" arguing that "subsidies should be a short-term, and not a permanent measure, used for five to seven years after a technology first starts scaling in order to allow it to transition down the cost curve until it can compete on its own merits." Khosla's column, titled "Time to Move On," appeared on the Green Tech Media site and outlined his belief that it's now time for corn

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It doesn't matter which party is in power in Washington (or state capitals, for that matter), companies that are spending billions of dollars to develop new products and technologies will spend at least a fraction of that amount to lobby politicians for policies that give them a leg up in the market. That's just what Ford, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and countless others are doing when it comes to "green vehicle" technology.

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Refiners and blenders pocket 45 cents for every gallon of ethanol blended with gasoline. The subsidy, courtesy of the U.S. government, helps the industry stay afloat amidst the dwindling demand for gasoline and increasing costs of ethanol production. It's been argued that, without the subsidy, the ethanol industry would die a quick death. If a report from BusinessWeek turns out to be true, then the industry might soon be dealt a glancing blow.

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Refiners and blenders pocket 45 cents for every gallon of ethanol blended with gasoline. The subsidy, courtesy of the U.S. government, helps the industry stay afloat amidst the dwindling demand for gasoline and increasing costs of ethanol production. It's been argued that, without the subsidy, the ethanol industry would die a quick death. If a report from BusinessWeek turns out to be true, then the industry might soon be dealt a glancing blow.

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It's no secret that ethanol is a controversial fuel. There are numerous arguments against the use of corn-derived alcohol as a fuel, both economic and environmental. The federal and some state governments have been subsidizing corn ethanol production for many years, but the 2007 energy bill mandated a huge increase in production of both corn and cellulosic ethanol.

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The debate over corn ethanol, and the federal government's strong support for the biofuel, is being debated across the U.S. Everything from the potential cost for damaged fuel systems to the possible Federal push for E15 is in the news. The discussion has even hit deep into corn country, where the Kansas City Star published a point-counterpoint opinion column yesterday on whether the Feds should continue to subsidize growing corn for ethanol. On the negative side, the corn ethanol mandate "has l

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As one of the biggest corn-producing states in the country, Minnesota has long had a vested interest in promoting ethanol. Governor Pawlenty has called for raising the blend of ethanol in standard pump gasoline from the current 10 percent to at least 20 percent. However, not everyone in Minnesota is sold on the idea of supporting ethanol production. Minnesota's Legislative Auditor's office is calling on the state to stop subsidizing ethanol production. The state has spent $93 million on the paym

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