Corn-based ethanol is a controversial fuel in its own right, and a long-standing government subsidy for blending the biofuel with gasoline has been an additional source of consternation over the last 30 years. The United States Congress wrapped up its work for 2011 without extending the incentive, a move that's drawn praise from environmental groups and taxpayer advocates.
Objections to fossil fuel subsidies have not halted the forming of a coalition to push for the extension of E85 credits. Dubbed the Coalition for E85, the group consists of retailers, producers, equipment manufacturers, and others who have joined forces to urge the federal government to extend the blended-biofuels' tax credit.
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.
When seven Republican presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa for a candidates' debate tonight night, they'd better be ready to discuss corn and ethanol. Based on what we've seen buzzing around the media for the last few weeks, we expect biofuel will be a hot topic. Here are their stances on the federal subsidy for ethanol producers: