The ethanol industry, and its government-supplied tax credits, will be in the spotlight on Capitol Hill again this week with a hearing by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, according to a report from the Des Moines Register. It will likely provide plenty of controversy. Both the committee chair, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the top Republican, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, are critical of federal incentives for ethanol from corn.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack will be the lead witness Wednesday, and he’ll be accompanied by a top official from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is deciding how to implement a higher limit for the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline.

Critics of ethanol also will get a chance to air their concerns, including Kris Kiser of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, which has fought the move to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline.

This hearing comes a week after a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources where the chairman, Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., voiced concerns that proposals to build out a distribution system for ethanol would lock out more promising biofuels.

Source: Des Moines Register