Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., is seeking a vote on an amendment to limit the increased use of domestically-produced ethanol and the job creation that goes with it. Senator McCain is specifically seeking to bar federal investment in the ethanol fueling infrastructure like blender pumps capable of offering a variety of ethanol blend levels. The Senator offered this same amendment during the ethanol tax debate in June. It was defeated 41-59.
The Renewable Fuels Association says Senator McCain's amendment is little more than a jobs bill for OPEC nations and other oil interests dedicated to keeping Americans addicted to costly and dangerous imported oil. RFA points out that American ethanol producers are providing the nation with a domestic renewable alternative, creating jobs here at home, and reducing America's vulnerability to the whims of petro-dictators.
The association says that policies like this are a relic of a bygone era in which oil was the only game in town. By specifically singling out the ethanol molecule for exclusion, this amendment is seeking to kill new technologies using algae, wood waste, garbage and other feedstocks that would produce ethanol in their infancy. America needs jobs and, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, domestic ethanol production is a proven method to create those opportunities.
Growth Energy is also critical of Senator McCain's efforts to limit consumer choice by prohibiting the USDA from funding Flex Fuel pump installations.
"The McCain amendment would smother the only initiative we have to provide consumers the power to choose their fuel, and it gives OPEC the green light to tighten its grip on our economy at the worst possible time," said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. "Flex Fuel pumps allow consumers the choice between affordable, homegrown biofuels that create jobs at home, and foreign oil imported from OPEC nations"
Buis says that Congress should stand up for consumer choice and move our country's energy policy forward, by investing in ethanol infrastructure and next generation biofuels.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says that NFU is strongly opposed to the proposed amendment by Senator McCain.
"At a time when many Americans continue to struggle in this economy, ethanol provides some relief by saving nearly a dollar at the pump for every gallon of fuel purchased," Johnson said. "Instead of protecting the profits of Big Oil, the Senate should vote down this amendment."