After three decades, tax break for ethanol expires

by Robert Pear

A tariff on imported ethanol, which expired December 31, 2011, along with a tax credit that cost $6 billion in 2011, aided producers like Marquis Energy, which operates an ethanol plant in Hennepin, Ill. Nearly 40 percent of the United States corn crop goes to ethanol and byproducts.  The use of corn for ethanol has contributed to higher food prices worldwide.  Photo: Peter Wynn Thompson/New York Times

WASHINGTON — A federal tax credit for ethanol expired on Saturday, ending an era in which the federal government provided more than $20 billion in subsidies for use of the product.

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