17 May 2006 23:28 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US refiners lashed out at the ethanol industry on Wednesday, charging the corn-based fuels sector is seeking more federal handouts at the expense of other national priorities.
The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association blasted efforts by a bi-partisan group of senators from corn belt states to advance legislation that would use federal environmental clean-up funds to reimburse retail gasoline stations that install tanks and pumps to sell ethanol motor fuels.
The legislation would divert money from a federal fund established to clean up leaking underground fuel storage tanks. Retail gasoline stations could access the clean-up funds to install tanks and pumps for dispensing E85, a motor fuel that is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.
Association president Bob Slaughter said the new ethanol industry push for another federal subsidy does not make sense and would further drain taxpayers’ pockets.
Citing the existing federal 52 cents/gallon subsidy for ethanol production, a 54 cents/gallon protective tariff on cheaper ethanol imports and a new federal requirement that refiners use domestic ethanol in gasoline blending, Slaughter said: “Enough is enough!”
He said the “association recognises that ethanol is an important and growing component of the nation’s fuel supply, but we oppose any mandates or new subsidies for the product.”
“Congress must draw the line at current programmes that already provide ethanol with extremely generous subsidies,” Slaughter said.
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