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Corporate Welfare

 

Push Ethanol Off the Dole

 

Written by Stephen Moore, director of fiscal policy, Cato Institute. “Ethanol is a creation of Washington, D.C. The ethanol program originated in the late 1970s during the energy crisis. A quarter-century later, there is no energy crisis and virtually every independent assessment --by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the General Accounting Office, the Congressional Budget Office, NBC News and several academic journals -- has concluded that ethanol subsidies have been a costly boondoggle with almost no public benefit.”

 

FUEL'S GOLD: ADM'S Million-Dollar Soft Money Donations Help The Ethanol Tax Break Survive

 

Article from Common Cause, which includes a chart of ADM’s donations to both parties. "A program so bereft of public benefit as the ethanol subsidy exists only because it has powerful friends." Highly recommended.

 

Big Money Big Benefits

 

Op-ed by Common Cause president Ann McBride. She writes, “Even after studies show that ethanol does little to reduce pollution or reduce our reliance on foreign oil, ADM continues to benefit from corporate welfare.”

 

The Ethanol Subsidy: Robbing Our Nation's Roads of Needed Funds, by William D. Fay, President, American Highway Users Alliance

 

“Under the dubious excuse of environmental benefits (already disproved by environmental supporters), manufacturers of the corn-based fuel ethanol enjoy a subsidy…The ethanol subsidy isn't just inequitable; it's highway robbery that affects the safety of everyone who uses the roads.”

 

Commentary: 2002 farm bill awaits final congressional vote - Family farmers ask selves "Who needs enemies when we have friends like these"

 

Agribusiness corporations, such as those susibized by SB2222, are no friends of the family farm. This article includes a detailed acount of ADM’s making ethanol from surplus wine imported from Europe – and getting subsidies for it. Scroll down the page to read about ethanol.

 

Farmers and Farm Prices

 

Editorial from Wisconsin. “Would not our state taxes that are going to the ethanol plant investors be better spent providing assistance to all farmers as compared to padding the pockets of investors who in turn share a little bit with a small number of grain growers?”

 

Ethanol Keeps ADM Drunk On Tax Dollars

 

An article by Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute, originally published in Investors Business Daily. “A program so bereft of public benefit as the ethanol subsidy exists only because it has powerful friends.”

 

Corporate welfare

 

A TIME investigation uncovers how hundreds of companies get on the dole--and why it costs every working American the equivalent of two weeks' pay every year.

By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele.

 

Environment

 

Time to Scrap the Ethanol Mandate – National Taxpayers Union

 

“It takes almost twice as much energy to produce a gallon of ethanol, than is produced by burning that gallon. One Cornell University biologist estimates that we could avoid importing 40 million barrels of oil if we simply dropped the ethanol program. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that ethanol production facilities are 'releasing toxic emissions at levels many times greater than they originally indicated.’”

 

Senator Feinstein, Schumer and six other Senators Voice their Opposition to the Ethanol Amendment - May 7, 2003

 

In a letter to their Senate colleagues, the senators wrote: "We are concerned that the ethanol mandate will drive up the price of gasoline for consumers, have mixed environmental results, and do little to lessen America's dependence on foreign oil. Moreover, this mandate is simply unnecessary and amounts to a new hidden gas tax.”

 

California lawsuit over ethanol rule makes good sense, Western Farm Press

 

California is suing the EPA because they do not want ethanol in their state. “Davis' lawsuit…has the support of the environmental activist community and state clean air regulators, who contend ethanol would actually add to the state's air pollution problems.”

 

Sierra Club to Sue South Bend Ethanol Plant

 

”The Club’s announcement comes after the Environmental Protection Agency warned ethanol producers that ‘most, if not all, ethanol facilities’ were in significant violation of the law.”

 

Ethanol plants pose pollution challenge

 

Steve Roessler lives two miles from an ethanol plant in southeastern Minnesota. When the wind is blowing in his direction, he finds it hard to breathe.

 

Burning debate: Enviros are divided over ethanol, by A.C. Thompson and Charles Russo

 

”At the Sierra Club, western regional staff director Carl Zichella's concerns can be summed up in one word: filth. Ethanol's simple, fast-burning chemical composition will increase smog, Zichella contends. Smoggy air – known to scientists as ground-level ozone – is a major cause of asthma and other respiratory ailments.” Article from the Christian Science Monitor.

 

Ethanol industry steamrollers opponents

Excellent transcript from Minnesota Public Radio. "First of all, it increases smog because it makes the mixture of gasoline and ethanol evaporate more readily. But it decreases carbon monoxide, which is another air pollutant," Becker said. "From an energy perspective, it's very energy-intensive to create ethanol. A lot of diesel fuel is used to cultivate the corn; a lot of mostly coal and other fossil fuels are used to distill it into ethanol."

“The fuel tax breaks Congress has already given the ethanol industry are causing the loss of nearly $2 billion each year that would otherwise go to highways and bridges.”

“Environmental concerns aren't the only ones that have failed to make headway. For years, the free-market think tank, Cato Institute, has railed against the multibillion-dollar subsidies enjoyed by the ethanol industry. The Institute has called the nation's largest ethanol producer, Archer Daniels Midland, ‘a poster child for corporate welfare’ and blasted ADM's huge political contributions. But the ethanol industry's momentum has been unstoppable.”

Commonly Available Ethanol and MTBE Gasoline Blends Do Little to Reduce Smog

 

A study by the National Academies, funded by the EPA, found in 1999 that ethanol and MTBE do little to reduce pollution, and ethanol can worsen it. “Because ethanol-blended gasoline is more volatile, meaning that more pollutants are evaporated into the atmosphere, it is difficult for such blends to meet EPA's standards unless the ethanol is blended with a more expensive, lower-volatility gasoline that is not readily available in many markets.” The full study is in our Studies section.

 

“Fighting Bob – Wisconsin’s Progressive Voice”

 

This website by “a group of grassroots activists who have been at the heart of the ethanol and corporate farm fights,” named after progressive Wisconsin governor “Fighting Bob” LaFolette, has some very enlightening articles, including the following:

 

The Smell of Spin: “ethanol plants make poor neighbors and the fuel itself is a pretty sorry excuse for an environmentally friendly product.”

 

The Ethanol Experts: “In this time of budget crises, is this the best use of taxpayer money? I don’t think so.”

 

The Great Smell: “Citizens play politics the old-fashioned way. They write letters, protest, hire an attorney to protect their health. Gopher Ethanol plays by the Golden Rule. (He who has the gold rules.)”

 

Cambria Wins One for All of Us: “It’s true: citizens CAN beat the big corporations. Victory was achieved Monday night, when a proposed ethanol plant went down to defeat in Cambria, Wisconsin.”

 

Bad Night for Ethanol: “By a margin of 60-40, referendum voters in Cambria on April 1 soundly defeated plans for a proposed ethanol plant. The contest has been on the front burner for months as a grass roots organization calling itself Cambrians for Thoughtful Development, fought tooth and nail against big corporate money.”

 

 

Book Review

 

A Wrongheaded Approach to Tackling Corporate Welfare

 

Review of Take the Rich Off Welfare by Mark Zepezauer and Arthur Naiman. “The authors dispel the myth that ethanol, which ADM produces and the federal government subsidizes, is somehow economically efficient or environmentally friendly.”

 

Websites

 

Corporate Welfare Shame Page

 

Sponsored by The Banneker Center; includes a wealth of links, articles, and resources.

 

Corporate Welfare Information Center

 

"The $150 billion for corporate subsidies and tax benefits eclipses the annual budget deficit of $130 billion. It's more than the $145 billion paid out annually for the core programs of the social welfare state: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), student aid, housing, food and nutrition, and all direct public assistance (excluding Social Security and medical care)."

 

Corporate Welfare Search Engine

 

Everyone gets upset by government corruption, waste and subsidies. Taxpayers don't want their money squandered in pork barrel projects. This is where you can find the current lowdown on corrupt and wasteful, counterproductive government spending.