In Washington, the 112th Congress adjourned without renewing the $0.45 VEETC tax credit for blenders of corn ethanol and the $0.54 per gallon tariff on imported ethanol. “With Congress in recess, there are no opportunities for further attempts to prolong the tax credit or the tariff, so we can confidently say these support mechanisms will be gone at the end of 2011,” said the Washington Representative for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Leticia Phillips.
“For the first time ever, the two top ethanol producers, which together account for more than 80% of world production, are not imposing an import tariff. Brazil zeroed its tariff in early 2010 and now the US is moving in the same direction. It’s time for these two countries to show leadership and work together to develop a truly global free market for ethanol, without trade barriers, as is already the case for oil,” said UNICA CEO Marcos Jank. He described the moment as “a great opportunity” for Brazil and the US to foment increased ethanol production and use throughout the globe.
Friends of the Earth biofuels policy campaigner Michal Rosenoer added: “The end of this giant subsidy for dirty corn ethanol is a win for taxpayers, the environment and people struggling to put food on their tables. We will now also turn our attention to ending other federal policies that support dirty corn ethanol, including the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires a radical increase in biofuel consumption by 2022.”