Category Archives: Ethanol

Coburn Will Allow Small Business Measure to Proceed

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) “is backing down after stalling small-business legislation to force a vote on his amendment to repeal ethanol subsidies,” POLITICO reports.

The Oklahoma Republican announced late Wednesday that he won’t continue to stand in the way of votes on the pending small-business bill after holding up negotiations for more than a day.

That sets up floor votes Thursday on a series of amendments to block the Obama administration’s climate change rules and a measure to repeal a 1099 tax compliance measure in the health care law.

But Coburn isn’t finished with ethanol just yet. He plans to call for a vote on a motion to suspend the rules after cloture is filed on the small-business bill, which would require 67 votes to proceed to his amendment.

“I’m just trying to get this thing unjammed,” Coburn said. “I won’t win it under a 67-vote rule, might not have won it under 60 with the pressures that would be applied, but it’s going to send a signal, ‘we’re going to get rid of this.’”

This is in relation to the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act (S. 493).


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Filed under Climate Change, EPA, Ethanol, Health, Small Business

Ethanol Amendment Stalls Small Business Legislation

Work on a “small business reauthorization bill stalled in the Senate this week after Democrats resisted a demand from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to vote on his amendment to repeal a tax credit for ethanol,” according to the Floor Action blog.

According to Senate sources, Coburn is refusing to any unanimous consent agreement that would allow the Senate to begin voting on amendments until a vote on his ethanol amendment is assured. Talks on how to handle the impasse took place into Tuesday night, and were thought to be continuing Wednesday morning.

Coburn said on Tuesday that it is an "outrage" that the Senate so far will not allow a vote on his amendment, which he said would save $5 billion.

This is in relation to the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act (S. 493).

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Filed under Ethanol, Small Business

Coburn, Cardin Offer Bill to Eliminate Ethanol Tax Credit

Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have introduced legislation today that would repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) or “blenders tax credit,” according to a joint press release.

The release says eliminating this tax credit would “save taxpayers $6 billion.” It provides “.45 cents per gallon to blenders of ethanol.”


Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report describing the tax credit as “largely unneeded today to ensure demand for domestic ethanol production.”


While there are a wide range of federal incentives available for ethanol production, the VEETC essentially provides free money for blenders who are already mandated by the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to blend ethanol in fuel.

Moreover, while born of good intentions, federal subsidies for ethanol have had less than satisfactory results.  Ethanol-blended fuel is nearly a third less efficient than gasoline (ethanol burns at 68 percent the energy content of gasoline), has contributed to the increased price of corn (as well as land, feed, and other input costs), and can cause engine damage in motor vehicles.

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Filed under Ethanol, Taxes