The Lincoln Journal-Star of Lincoln, Neb. ran a story this morning about the ethanol blenders credit and the tariff on foreign-produced ethanol and how these issues are caught up in the debt ceiling/budget cutting debate in Congress:
Any deal that Congress gets done in raising the debt ceiling by an August deadline is likely to include the demise of a 45-cent federal blenders credit for ethanol that has been in place since the 1970s.
The loss of the credit, paid to those who combine gasoline and ethanol for retail sale, could ultimately threaten the typical 10-cent price advantage for ethanol at Nebraska fuel pumps. And the clock also seems to be ticking loudly among budget negotiators on a 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol.
Todd Sneller of the Nebraska Ethanol Board was among those connecting the dots Monday between the debt ceiling and renewable fuels in the nation’s second leading ethanol-producing state.
“If there’s a vehicle that moves,” Sneller said of action on the debt ceiling, “this provision (on ethanol) is likely to be part of that vehicle.”
Much of the momentum for including ethanol in the budget equation comes from a 73-27 roll call in the Senate last month in favor of ending the credit and the tariff July 31.