A coalition of agriculture groups has asked the incoming Obama administration this week to repeal “harmful ethanol subsidies, which total more than $5 billion annually." The groups include the American Meat Institute, the National Chicken Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
The coalition quoted a national survey of 1,000 Americans, which found that 89 percent are concerned about the rising cost of food, including 57 percent who say that they are "very concerned."
About half of respondents become less likely to support policies aimed at promoting the use of corn to produce ethanol when provided with USDA data showing ethanol produced from corn is the cause of 10 percent of food price inflation. The coalition also cites a survey that shows 56 percent of respondents called for Congress to reduce or eliminate subsidies and mandates for the use of corn ethanol.
"We have spent 30 years and billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the production of ethanol with little to show for it," said Duane Parde, president of the National Taxpayers Union. "Despite the subsidies, ethanol is not competitive in the marketplace and the industry only survives because politicians shovel our money into their pockets. We must end the bailouts and subsidies for industries that are unable or unwilling to stand on their own."