Resistance to extending ethanol subsidies is growing as groups and individuals from the left and right join in the effort, according to a Wall Street Journal article. That could make the ethanol industry’s campaign to extend a tax credit vital to the U.S. corn-ethanol business a closer call than it’s been in years.

Among those voicing their disapproval of the ethanol subsidies are the liberal MoveOn.Org, the Tea Party-aligned FreedomWorks, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn.

The tax credit, which is due to expire Dec. 31, cost the government $4 billion in 2008 and could cost $6.75 billion a year by 2015, according to the Government Accountability Office. That has made it a target for conservatives who want to cut federal spending and handouts to private interests.

On the left, ethanol’s image as a “green” fuel has taken a hit as environmentalists – including former Vice President Al Gore – have swung to the view that the energy benefits of using corn for ethanol production are marginal. Some environmentalists and hunger groups complain corn ethanol drives up the cost of food without making a real dent in global greenhouse gas emissions.

In a letter Monday to congressional leaders, Political Action, FreedomWorks, and more than four dozen groups called on Congress to let the ethanol tax credit expire at the end of the year.

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Source: Wall Street Journal