Reaction Continues to Pour in on Ethanol Agreement

While not perfect, most seem pleased with ethanol compromise.

Published on: Jul 8, 2011

Groups and organizations continue to voice their opinions on the ethanol compromise that Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, R-S.D., have reached. The agreement ends the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit  and the tariff on foreign ethanol by the end of July.

Thune says the bipartisan compromise comes after productive discussions with industry stakeholders over the past several weeks and reduces the deficit without pulling the rug from under American renewable energy producers.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the ethanol compromise is a sensible plan to reduce the deficit and continue investing in renewable fuel infrastructure. Johnson says NFU has long maintained that such investments are necessary in order to ensure that ethanol is on a level playing field with oil and to provide consumers greater choice at the pump. He says it's important to make sure that next generation biofuels are properly funded so the U.S. can continue down the path of energy independence.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen calls the compromise sensible policy making that American voters want from their leaders. Dinneen says it's not the perfect compromise, but it demonstrates the willingness of ethanol producers and advocates to do their part to address budget concerns while not sacrificing the progress of the industry.

Advanced Ethanol Council Executive Director Brooke Coleman says there are enough ingredients in the agreement to move the conversation forward, but there's a fundamental problem with how the advanced biofuels piece is crafted. Coleman says the last minute switch from a yearly credit to a gallon-based, capped credit adds unnecessary layers of uncertainty and risk for the financing community. She says AEC looks forward to working with Congress and the Obama Administration to fix the deficiencies before the proposal is enacted into law.

A coalition of livestock and poultry groups including the American Meat Institute, California Dairies, Inc., National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Meat Association, National Pork Producers Council, and National Turkey Federation released a statement today regarding the compromise.

"We appreciate the work done by Senator Dianne Feinstein in her effort to end the VEETC and tariff," the coalition statement said. "However, the resulting compromise still provides new federal funds for corn-based ethanol, money that would be better spent reducing the deficit or encouraging the development of energy sources that do not compete with feed needs."