UNICA, aka the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association has been ultra aggressive during the past year on American Soil. UNICA is the producer of sugarcane ethanol which has been very successful in its own country of Brazil, but VEETC and an ethanol tariff have mostly kept it out of the United States. UNICA sees the United States as possible new market, especially when considering our countries goal to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard.
To clarify, VEETC, the volumetric excise tax credit provides a 45 cent per gallon tax incentive for ethanol blenders, not farmers or ethanol plants, is set to expire at the end of 2010. The incentive ensures ethanol blends in the marketplace and is passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices at the pump. The tariff on imported ethanol in the United States is 54 cents/gallon.
UNICA’s efforts to ensure VEETC is not renewed at the end of the year include funding a study at Iowa State University, writing countless opinion pieces at newspapers across the country and now advertising their opinion in major markets telling America to end VEETC.
After a number of opinion pieces by UNICA’s Joel Velasco, were published across the country, their campaign started messaging that those states support ending VEETC. Wait a minute…what? The ad states, “Newspapers and Experts Call for End to Ethanol Tariff and Subsidies,” the last time I checked an opinion piece represented your opinion Joel, not that of the paper or the state.
Misrepresenting the state of South Dakota and others is absolutely shameful because no matter what your opinion may be our state and country have thrived from ethanol and VEETC. Without an extension of VEETC, it is estimated that South Dakota alone would lose 8,412 jobs according to ENTRIX. Corn prices would drop by 8%, domestic ethanol production would decrease by 37.7% and billions would be lost in federal, state and local tax revenues.
It’s pretty simple folks; UNICA is simply looking to cash in. Why would a Brazilian company care about United States tax dollars? America is already dependent on other countries for foreign oil; we have no reason to depend on others for biofuels too.
America’s ethanol industry and farmers are more than capable to move our country well past the E 10 wall with bountiful crops due to increasing yields. Farmer’s are continuing to produce more with less providing plenty of corn to meet the demands for food, feed, fiber and ethanol fuel.