Florida Governor Jeb Bush, after meeting with Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Roberto Rodrigues, wants the federal government to reconsider its stance on foreign ethanol and abolish all tariffs on the alternative fuel. States Bush, "We don't put a tariff on crude imported from a country like Venezuela, but yet we put a tariff on ethanol, which is a renewable source of energy that provides a clean alternative. We're at a point now where we need to develop strategies to begin that process."
Much of Bush's advocacy stems from ethanol's current cost. Despite the 51 cents-per-gallon federal tax credit enjoyed by domestic ethanol producers, consumers pay roughly the same price per gallon of ethanol to regular gasoline. Worse, the corn-based version grown is not as effective as gasoline, making consumers reluctant to switch. Both issues could be resolved if ethanol is imported: Brazil's sugar-based ethanol is not only more efficient than its corn-based counterpart, but would cost a third to half compared to gasoline. Current federal law imposes 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on any sugar-based ethanol which effectively removes the cost advantage. Corn growers oppose the removal of the tariff.

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[Source: Environment News via Heartland Institute]

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