Pulling The Plug On The Corn Gravy Train

31/03/11 -- Just as the USDA seem set to announce the second largest US corn plantings since the war, there are suggestions that the existing 45c/gallon tax break enjoyed by US ethanol producers may not get extended at the end of 2011.

This little ruse, set up as part of the 2004 Jobs Creation Act, cost US tax payers USD5.4 billion in 2010, according to this report Laughing all the way to the bank. The US ethanol industry trumpets that it directly employs more than 70,000 American citizens.

Contentiously, they could remove the tax break entirely and pay each one of those employees a USD75,000/year salary to simply sit on their arses and still have change left over.

Not much of a vote winner for Obama in the Midwest that idea though is it?

Elsewhere though the anti-subsidy lobby is gaining support from some high profile players: Senator Webb Cosponsors New Bill To Repeal Corn Ethanol Subsidy, Reduce Ethanol Tariffs

Meanwhile, leading agricultural expert David Pimental of Cornell University says that 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it.