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US Group: Ethanol Gets Unfair Share Of Energy Subsidies

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dow Jones, Bill Tomson

Published January 9, 2009

Data pulled from a U.S. Energy Information Administration report shows that the corn-based ethanol industry has a history of securing far more tax credits and other federal subsidies than producers of other renewable fuel sources, the non-profit Environmental Working Group said Thursday. "The corn-based ethanol industry received $3 billion in tax credits in 2007, more than four times the $690 million in credits available to companies trying to expand all other forms of renewable energy, including solar, wind and geothermal power," the group said. Because ethanol production in the U.S. is dependent upon corn as its primary feedstock, the industry spurs farming and creates farm-related pollution and waste, the EWG said.

"As the polluting ethanol industry gets fat at taxpayer expense, proven clean technologies such as solar, wind and geothermal are fighting for support.America needs a truly renewable energy portfolio, and the evidence is mounting that corn-based ethanol will not get us where we need to go." Ethanol got 76% of all federal renewable energy tax credits in 2007, the EWG said. "The federal bill for ethanol subsidies grows with every gallon of ethanol produced," the group said. "By 2010, ethanol will cost taxpayers more than $5 billion a year - more than is spent on all U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs to protect soil, water and wildlife habitat."

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