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Published November 18, 2010, 11:24 AM

Nelson calls for extension of ethanol tax credit

LINCOLN, Neb. — U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson says doing away with subsidies for corn-based ethanol would be bad for Nebraska and other states in the Midwest.

LINCOLN, Neb. — U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson says doing away with subsidies for corn-based ethanol would be bad for Nebraska and other states in the Midwest.

On Wednesday, Nelson echoed ethanol producers’ concerns that allowing tax credits to expire at the end of the year would shut down ethanol plants and lead to greater dependence on foreign oil.

Critics say the industry should stand on its own after receiving subsidies for 30 years.

Nelson says ending the subsidies would cost Nebraska — the second largest producer of ethanol — some 14,000 jobs and hobble the state’s 25 ethanol production plants.

A tax credit of 45 cents for every gallon of ethanol blended into gasoline is paid to oil companies as an incentive to blend gas with ethanol. The tax credit is often passed on to motorists as savings at the pump.

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