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GAO report poses tough questions for ethanol

Study questions need for tax incentives and urges broader look at environmental impact.

Source:  Copyright 2009, Star Tribune
Date:  October 2, 2009
Byline:  Matt McKINNEY
Original URL: Status ONLINE

In a report that raises significant questions for the corn ethanol industry, the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Friday questioned the need for tax credits supporting the industry while urging Congress to consider broad effects on air, water and wildlife before expanding biofuel production.

The report, prepared at the request of Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, examined what will happen in coming years as biofuel production expands. Congress has already mandated a steep increase in biofuels, requiring oil companies to blend some 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels into fuel supplies by 2022, up from about 10 billion gallons in 2008. By contrast, consumers in the United States burned some 138 billion gallons of gasoline last year.

"The findings and conclusions in the report really echo and confirm a lot of the concerns the environmental community has been raising," said Craig Cox, Midwest vice president of the Environmental ...

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