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METHANOL INDUSTRY SAYS BUSH SHOWS POLITICAL COURAGE ON FUEL ISSUE

METHANOL INDUSTRY SAYS BUSH SHOWS POLITICAL COURAGE ON FUEL ISSUE
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Methanol Institute issued the following:
 The natural gas-based methanol industry commended the Bush administration today for "putting clean air and the American taxpayers" above the interests of the billion dollar ethanol lobby by deciding not to support a new package of special preferences for the ethanol industry.
 Bush had been pressured by the already heavily subsidized ethanol companies to make the announcement on Sunday, Aug. 23, during a campaign appearance at the state fair in Illinois, a state in which corngrowers are heavily represented.
 Ethanol, produced chiefly from corn, has received federal government subsidies for over a decade., The industry is now requesting even larger subsidies as well as a special environmental waiver for the fuel, worth millions of dollars, which would undercut the nation's new Clean Air Act standards.
 In a statement released today, Raymond A. Lewis, president of the American Methanol Association, said: "The administration obviously recognizes that granting special subsidies, tax incentives and environmental waivers to ethanol would not save energy or promote a cleaner environment. What it would do is undermine and unfairly penalize the unsubsidized natural gas/methanol-based markets that together have committed over $5 billion to produce competitive clean fuels domestically to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act."
 Stating that the federal government already pays more than half a billion dollars per year to support the ethanol industry, Lewis called on the administration to continue a "fuel neutral" policy that would allow all alternative fuels (including methanol, which is made in the United States from American natural gas and has never received government subsidies) to compete on a level playing field.
 Lewis added: "The ethanol industry received Senate approval of a generous additional tax break in June worth $162 million and already they are coming back for more. Why should the federal government keep heaping favors on any one product, especially one that is not economically sustainable, when it is clearly in the best economic interest of the country to promote competitiveness and diversity in energy development? President Bush took the fiscally and competitively responsible position by saying, in effect, 'enough is enough.'"
 AMI is supported in its position by the oil and natural gas industries, and by major environmental groups who cite ethanol's failure to meet emissions standards under the new Clean Air Act.
 -0- 8/27/92
 /CONTACT: Jo Buckenheimer of the American Methanol Institute, 202-467-5050/ CO: American Methanol Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL SU: EXE


KD -- DC023 -- 4140 08/27/92 17:14 EDT
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Date:Aug 27, 1992
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