EIA expects gas market to tighten

The Wall Street Journal reports that at a hearing yesterday in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Guy Caruso, head of the DOE’s Energy Information Administration, testified that “he expects every major refiner to stop using MTBE prior to the summer driving season, making the market for gasoline “very tight” in the first half of 2006.” The Journal adds “Mr. Caruso hinted that Congress may want to boost ethanol imports to aid the transition from MTBE, saying high tariffs are suppressing imports.” and reports that Sen. John Warner (R., Va.) said that Congress may need to relax tariffs so ethanol supplies from countries such as Jamaica, Mexico and Brazil are allowed to satisfy demand unmet by U.S. production.

We don’t tax oil whether it’s imported from Saudi Arabia, or Mr. Chavez in Venezuela, but we do tax ethanol coming in from Brazil. All told today the tax on ethanol imports comes up to about 57 cents a gallon. One of the provisions included in HR.4409, the bipartisan Fuel Choices for American Security Act introduced in the House, is a removal of the ethanol tarriff.

Coalition member Gal Luft wrote about this back in August.

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