While Congress was busy tossing brickbats and whatnot these past few weeks, they were also not renewing the tax credit for corn-based ethanol:
The United States has ended a 30-year tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol that cost taxpayers $6 billion annually, and ended a tariff on imported Brazilian ethanol.
Congress adjourned for the year on Friday, failing to extend the tax break that’s drawn a wide variety of critics on Capitol Hill, including Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Critics also have included environmentalists, frozen food producers, ranchers and others.
The policies have helped shift millions of tons of corn from feedlots, dinner tables and other products into gas tanks.
As much as $45 billion may have been poured into this particular rathole since 1980, to the tune of 45 cents per gallon.
The mandate for renewable fuels, however, has not been rolled back, and is scheduled to more than double by 2022, so the actual effect on your local gas station is not at all clear just yet, especially since that Brazilian ethanol is derived, not from corn, but from sugar cane.