One of ethanol's many subsidies could be cut (repeat, *could*) 

You may have heard in recent weeks about the tax credit for gas stations (or other blenders) who buy ethanol. You may remember that the federal government also mandates the purchase of ethanol by blenders. You might also be aware that the federal government subsidizes corn production. Many people know that domestic ethanol producers benefit from a tariff on imported ethanol. Also, you could probably guess that many states subsidize ethanol in multiple ways.

But probably only a few people in the world can keep track of all the subsidies U.S. ethanol gets.

Starting soon, there might be one fewer. Philip Brasher at the Des Moines Register reports:

A program that would subsidize installing new ethanol pumps at rural service stations could be on the chopping block as lawmakers look to slash the U.S. Agriculture Department's budget.

Next week, a House appropriations subcommittee will unveil a proposed 2012 budget for the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration that will cut overall spending for the agencies by 13 percent as part of a Republican effort to shrink the federal deficit.

Read the whole piece by Brasher. It's got some good nuggets, like this one:

The congressional district that has taken the biggest share of the program belongs to Rep. Tom Latham, R-Ia., a member of the appropriations panel....

Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Ia., who will likely be pitted against Latham in a newly redrawn district in 2012, signed the letter urging the budget writers to spare the program.


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Timothy P. Carney

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