Congressman Leonard Lance

Representing the 7th District of New Jersey


Apr 19, 2011
Press Release

Lawmaker Calls for an Open Debate Regarding the Future of a Wasteful, Duplicative Federal Program

WASHINGTON – Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today joined U.S. Reps. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Steve Womack (R-AK) in calling for an open and transparent debate on the House floor regarding the future of the federal ethanol policy.  Lance argues that federal subsidies for ethanol are duplicative and wasteful.

Specifically, the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit is a federal policy that provides a subsidy of 45 cents a gallon for blending ethanol into gasoline.  Lance noted that the U.S. Government Accountability Office recently recommended that a permanent repeal of the ethanol tax credit would save taxpayers between $5.4 billion to $6.75 billion per year.

In a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Lance and his colleagues wrote:

“As we’re sure you are aware, the ethanol industry has long benefited from federal support in the form of tax credits, a protective import tariff, and the renewable fuels mandate.  Nearly every aspect of the industry is federally subsidized, and this comes at a cost…Given the difficult fiscal decisions Congress faces and the focused attention on federal spending, taxpayers deserve a transparent process and regular order with respect to ethanol legislation.”

For his part, Lance introduced the Repeal Ethanol Subsidies Today Act, H.R. 1188, bipartisan legislation that would terminate the ethanol blenders tax credit that costs taxpayers approximately $6 billion a year.  Lance’s bill has been endorsed by a broad coalition including Taxpayers for Common Sense, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Limited Government, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Grocery Manufacturer Association, American Meat Institute, and Oxfam America, among many others.

“In light of our Nation's current fiscal challenges I believe Congress should do everything in its power to eliminate wasteful and duplicative programs that unnecessarily cost U.S. taxpayers billions each year,” Lance said.  “There is strong bipartisan support to eliminate taxpayer subsidies for the ethanol program.  Leaders in Congress should allow an open, honest and fair debate on this fiscally irresponsible program.”

CLICK HEREto read Lance’s letter to Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi.