The Sucrose Ethanol Policy

Published online: May 22, 2008 ASA
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Sugar and the Farm Bill: Sucrose Ethanol Policy President George W. Bush has been a longtime, outspoken supporter of ethanol. "It's good public policy for America. It's good for your air, it's good for our economy and it's good for our national security. Thank goodness we're self-sufficient in food. But we're not self-sufficient in energy." -April 2002 "Corn ethanol holds a lot of promise, but there's a lot of challenges.And so we got to do something about it, and the best thing to do is not to retreat from our commitment to alternative fuels, but to spend research and development money on alternatives to ethanol made from other materials." -March 2008 So it seems like common sense that the President would support the sugar-to-ethanol provision in the Farm Bill just passed by Congress. Conditional Use: When needed, the program would convert burdensome sugar surpluses into fuel-a plan that will further the country's energy goals while keeping the sugar market balanced in the face of unneeded imports caused by trade agreements. Minimal Infrastructure: Under the plan, small amounts of sugar would be used in existing corn ethanol facilities, so no costly new facilities would need to be created for the program. Food First: Since the program would only use surpluses, food manufacturers would never have to worry about having ample sugar supplies. Saves Money: A sucrose ethanol program would virtually eliminate the likelihood that sugar loans would be forfeited at a much higher cost-that's why the program was scored by the Congressional Budget Office as a money saver. Fiscal responsibility in the Farm Bill has been the among the Administration's top priorities. Sugar producers are scratching their heads over the Bush Administration's objections. The Administration's Idea: More than two years ago, the Bush Administration proposed a sugar-to-ethanol plan to dispose of excess foreign sugar supplies caused by trade agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA-a concept that was included in the Farm Bill. Food Security: As an essential food ingredient, consumers and food manufacturers want and need a secure supply of domestically produced sugar. Without the sucrose ethanol provision, many producers will not survive in face of unfair foreign competition. May 2008 Visit www.sugaralliance.org