Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Congress mandated use of the gasoline additive Ethanol as part of last year's comprehensive energy bill. But demand has outstripped supply and added to rising fuel prices. Democratic California Senator Diane Feinstein says a federal tariff on ethanol imports should be lifted. Benjamin Shaw Reports from Capitol Hill.
A bill introduced this week by Feinstein and Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl would strike the 54 cent import tariff currently on ethanol.
Feinstein says if oil refineries are required to use the additive they should have the choice to buy it from the cheapest seller - including foreign producers like Brazil.
Feinstein: "How do you get a cheaper price at the pump? You do it by lowering cost. This lowers the cost of ethanol. It's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned."
President Bush and House Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio have both voiced support for temporarily lifting the import tax.
Lawmakers from farm-states where Ethanol is produced object to the move, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa, whose panel has jurisdiction over trade-related issues.
From Capitol Hill, I'm Benjamin Shaw, KPBS News.