WASHINGTON (AP) - With lawmakers desperately working to shave
federal budget deficits, the Senate is debating a measure to
eliminate ethanol tax credits that pay the oil industry $5 billion
a year. The biggest defenders of the subsidies, however, include
farm belt conservatives leading the charge for less government.
Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, is forcing a vote
Tuesday on a measure that would repeal the tax credits. Coburn says
they are wasteful subsidies for an industry that no longer needs
Ethanol supporters say that with gasoline prices hovering near
$4 a gallon, it is no time to repeal tax credits that encourage
alternative fuels. They argue that ethanol is the only viable
alternative to imported oil.