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AMI Joins Broad Coalition In Calling For Repeal of Ethanol Subsidies on 30th Anniversary of Mandates

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

On the 30th anniversary of the U.S. government’s ethanol subsidies, AMI and dozens of organizations representing the livestock sector, government watchdog groups, environmental advocates, hunger organizations, tax groups and retailers called on the next Administration to repeal the harmful ethanol subsidies, which total more than $5 billion annually.  The event, which drew several dozen members of the press, was held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Also released at the news conference were the results of a national Ipsos survey of 1,000 Americans, which found that nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) are concerned about the rising cost of food, including 57 percent who say that they are “very concerned.”

When provided with information about US. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showing corn ethanol production is the cause of 10 percent of food price inflation, nearly half (49 percent) of respondents become less likely to support policies aimed at promoting the use of corn to produce ethanol.  Moreover, when asked if they would support keeping or changing the existing Congressional policies, a majority (56 percent) of respondents call for Congress to change these policies by reducing or eliminating subsidies and mandates for the use of corn ethanol.

Duane Parde, president of the National Taxpayers Union, was critical of the ethanol industry as a “demonstrative waste of taxpayer money in a time of economic hardship.”

“President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress have an opportunity to protect taxpayers and end business as usual,” Parde said. “We have spent 30 years and billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the production of ethanol with little to show for it. 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.”

In recent months, a wide number of independent voices have spoken out against ethanol subsidies as a failed policy that does more harm than good. They include three Nobel Prize winning economists -- Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman and Amartya Sen -- as well as international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the United Nations and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

For more information, go to http://www.foodbeforefuel.org/ or http://www.balancedfoodandfuel-old.org/.

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