Senate Votes to End Ethanol Tax Break

The Senate voted to rid of a $5 billion-a-year subsidy for ethanol production. The measure, voted 73-27, would effectively save $5 billion from the federal deficit, but its attached to a bill that probably won't become a law. Either way, it sends a strong signal from both Democrats and Republicans to the White House. Tax breaks for ethanol--a corn-based biofuel-- had been long supported as a way to reduce oil imports and woo the farm vote, but both parties have become more focused on deficit reduction. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that the Obama administration believes the Senate measure "isn't the right approach," and would encourage lawmakers to target other tax benefits for the energy sector, Bloomberg reported.

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