Senate Vote to Decide OPEC’s Role in US Economy

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate will be considering a pair of amendments, either of which would cripple America’s domestic, renewable fuels industry and keep the U.S. economy at the mercy of Iran, Libya, Venezuela and other OPEC nations.

Growth Energy, the leading voice of U.S. ethanol producers, announced that its members are opposed to the amendments. One amendment, offered by Sens. Diane Feinstein and Tom Coburn, would immediately repeal last year’s one-year reauthorization of the tariff on imported ethanol and the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit. The other amendment, offered by Sen. John McCain, would bar any federal agency from using federal funds for encouraging installation of Flex Fuel pumps, which provide consumers a choice in the marketplace.

“Let’s take a step back and look at what either of these amendments would do. Ultimately, they would put American households at the mercy of OPEC, precisely at a time when families are struggling with high gas prices and inflation. I think it’s about time we put our trust in the hands of the everyday American family, instead of putting our fate in the hands of foreign strongmen,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “This comes at a time when we see OPEC netting $1 trillion in revenue, all because of the high price of oil. These amendments are the wrong move at the wrong time.”

In an analysis of the Feinstein-Coburn and McCain legislation, Growth Energy found these amendments:
• Threaten over 400,000 American jobs at a time when we can least afford to lose them.
• Drive up gas prices by putting our supply of American-made ethanol – the most affordable vehicle fuel on the planet – in jeopardy. A recent study released by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) found that the increased use of ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by an average of $0.89 per gallon in 2010.
• Give foreign oil and OPEC an even greater hold on our country. It continues to guarantee that gasoline from oil produced in the most unstable area of the world is the only choice that consumers have at the pump.
• Delay the development of biofuels from cellulosic biomass. Cellulosic biofuels require a strong traditional ethanol sector, which these amendments put at risk.
• Unconstitutional, in the case of the Coburn/Feinstein amendment, because all revenue measures must originate in the House of Representatives.