Tester votes to save taxpayers $3 billion

Bipartisan amendment curbs corn ethanol subsidies

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after his vote to save taxpayers $3 billion by curbing corn ethanol subsidies:

“With Montana in the driver’s seat, America can and will lead the way in renewable energy, but we must do it in a way that gets us the most bang for the buck.  Subsidizing corn ethanol with taxpayer dollars is expensive and energy inefficient.  Saving $3 billion by curbing corn ethanol subsidies will shift our focus to more promising biofuels like cellulosic ethanol and oilseeds, which don’t compete with our food supply.”

Tester, the Senate’s only working farmer, today voted in favor of a measure by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.  The amendment curbs taxpayer subsidies for major corn ethanol producers but does not impact Montana’s biofuel producers.  

Tester has led the fight to promote camelina as a source of next generation biofuel, and is a strong supporter of tax credits for cellulosic and advanced biofuels.  Tester also introduced a bill allowing the Department of Defense to engage in long term contracts to give advanced biofuel producers the certainty they need to invest.

An outspoken advocate for cutting spending and the national debt, Tester was the only Senate Democrat to vote against both bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry.  Tester also successfully saved $6 billion in unemployment insurance, killed the wasteful animal identification program, and successfully prevented several congressional pay raises.