Opponents of the ethanol subsidy are working to generate opposition in the Senate to an extension of the tax credit in the lame-duck Congress, according to the Des Moines Register.

The 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit is due to expire at the end of December. The ethanol industry is lobbying to have an extension of the subsidy included with any tax bill that Congress takes up.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa), this week challenged critics of the ethanol incentive to also support cuts in subsidies for oil and gas production.

"A lot of the opposition comes from big oil and natural gas people and senators from those states," Grassley said. "I can't believe they would have the chutzpah to talk about doing away with the tax incentives for ethanol at the same time they expect us to keep in place tax incentives for oil and natural gas."

One critic of the ethanol subsidy, Sen. Tom Coburn, (R-Okla.), believes that nothing should be off limits when it comes to cuts, including oil and gas subsidies and even defense spending, said spokesman John Hart.

However, Hart left an opening for his boss to hedge. "Everything should be on the table, but not all subsidies are created equal," Hart said.

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Source: Des Moines Register