A vote Thursday to end ethanol tax credits was blasted by Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson on Friday. The Democrat says the decision will keep Americans dependent on foreign oil.
Nelson was just one of 27-senators who voted to keep the tax credit. Many who voted for it, on both sides of the aisle, said the industry should be able to stand on its own.
However, Nelson whole-heartedly disagrees.
"I think it was the most ridiculous vote that I've seen in my years in the Senate. Here we've had an opportunity to continue to grow our own energy here at home and a number of my colleagues chose to turn their back on that for a variety of different reasons, most of which I do not understand," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D) Nebraska.
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the vote is simply symbolic and part of a law that he doesn't think will pass. He calls the plan end the credit a "job killer" and says the vote was ill-advised.
"At a time when everybody in Washington D.C. is talking about job growth, why would we want to take and send the message that we're in the business of reducing jobs. There are a lot of people that are currently considering investing hundreds of millions of dollars in rural communities across America to build new bio-refineries. That could potentially be jeopardized by sending the wrong kinds of signals," explained Vilsack.
He predicts the blenders tax credit will end, and that those resources will fund efforts to make biofuel more accessible to the public.