Good news — The Senate voted to end ethanol subsidies today in a vote that was actually quite bi-partisan.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate voted 73 to 27 on Thursday to wipeout billions of dollars in support for the U.S. ethanol industry.
The Senate approved an amendment to end the 45-cent-a-gallon subsidy the government gives refiners and the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol from Brazil and other countries. [...]
The ethanol subsidy amendment on Thursday from Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Coburn will be tacked on to an underlying economic development bill, which faces a difficult time passing the Senate.
This is a major victory for two reasons.
The subsidy of ethanol is one of the leading causes, along with commodity speculation and violent weather patterns, of the dramatic rise in food prices domestically and food-shortages abroad. Paying farmers to grow crops for fuel instead of food never made sense, and the economic impacts of doing so reach far beyond the $6 billion dollar per year price-tag and literally right into your shopping-cart.
The ability of the senate to, in a bi-partisan fashion, end unnecessary and truly wasteful spending by eliminating a subsidy displays that at least some conservatives are, on occasion, willing to do something reasonable. It remains to be seen if anyone on the House side of the equation is willing to join them though. What say you, John Boehner?
I am not a fan of Senator Tom Coburn, but at the very least he deserves credit for today’s vote. It’s important to show appreciation for doing the right thing when the right thing is done.