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Ethanol Tax Credit Could Be Early Casualty of Cuts In Spending

Nov. 5, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ - Farm groups and major ethanol producers expressed deep concern today that tax credits for ethanol blenders will take a big hit as a result of Tuesday's election.

A 45-cent-a-galllon tax credit for ethanol is set to expire before year's end unless renewed by Congress in a lame-duck session scheduled later this month. Members may be reading the tea leaves of voter reaction to government spending and target the tax extension as the first casualty.

Robert Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau, the nation's largest U.S. farmer group, told Bloomberg News yesterday that "Only those things will pass a lame duck where Republicans agree with the Democrats' position. I'm not sure that's the case."

That view was echoed by Robert Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group that represents ethanol processors.

Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee last week questioned whether the new Republican majority will be as sympathetic to agricultural subsidies as the Democrats.

Beyond the ethanol tax credit, the cost cutters will find a big target in the $300 billion farm bill scheduled to be renewed in 2012. That bill contains tens of billions in tax subsidies for a variety of farm commodities.

Fourteen members of the House Agriculture Committee, all Democrats, lost their House seats in Tuesday's election.

For more agriculture news, visit Agriculture Industry Today (http://agriculture.einnews.com), an agriculture media monitoring service from EIN News.
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