NCBA says phase-out subsidies for ethanol

US - The Cattle Industry Convention wrapped up Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee, but not before National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) members approved a policy calling for a phase-out of government subsidies for ethanol production and an end to the 54 cent per gallon tariff on imported ethanol. NCBA also called on the government to focus on quickly transitioning from corn-based to cellulosic ethanol.
calendar icon 6 February 2007
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And in fact, during an appearance in Des Moines last week, U.S. Ag Secretary Mike Johann told Brownfield the Bush administration’s focus on cellulosic ethanol research in its farm bill proposal is specifically aimed at helping livestock producers.

"The have felt the pain of four dollar corn, believe me," said Johanns. "This has been quite an adjustment for them and our poultry producers and our pork producers, so the emphasis on cellulosic, I think, will be well received by them."

The new NCBA policy position on ethanol is nearly identical to the one adopted by Nebraska Cattlemen at the end of November. And Nebraska Cattlemen Executive Vice President Mike Kelsey told Brownfield NCBA took all of his organization's policy statements as their own.

"Our policies that we sent on to national were all adopted in some form or fashion with some explanations, if you will," said Kelsey. "But we consider it a very successful convention in representing our membership."

And Kelsey pointed out the new NCBA policy on ethanol, just like the Nebraska Cattlemen's policy statement, doesn't call for an immediate end to government support for the ethanol industry. "We don't see those subsidies ending necessarily being a cold-turkey scenario," Kelsey explained. "And that's why our policy, and NCBA's policy now, reflects a transition to a market-based approach to the production and usage of ethanol."

According to Kelsey, NCBA supports energy independence generally and renewable fuels specifically. But he said the beef industry also strongly believes market forces should spur adoption of renewable fuels.

Source: Brownfield Network
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