Koch Industries, Sierra Club Find Themselves on the Same Side of Senate Vote to Repeal Ethanol Tax

June 14, 2011 - The Senate voted down (40-59) consideration on S. Amdt. 436, an amendment introduced by Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that would repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit.

The issue of eliminating the tax credit split fiscal & tax policy groups such as Americans for Tax Reform, which opposed the measure because it did not also reduce taxes, and Taxpayers for Common Sense, which supported the measure. The issue surprisingly brought groups like Koch Industries and the Sierra Club to the same side of the table in support of ending the tax credit.

  • Interest groups that supported this amendment gave 91% more on average to senators who voted 'YES' ($331,799) than to senators who voted 'NO' ($173,576).
  • Interest groups that opposed this amendment gave 3.1 times as much on average to senators who voted 'NO' ($17,594) as they gave to senators who voted 'YES' ($5,658).
  • Petroleum refining & marketing (supported this amendment) gave 82% more on average to senators who voted 'YES' ($23,901) than to senators who voted 'NO' ($13,168).
  • Alternate energy production & services (opposed this amendment) gave 3.2 times as much on average to senators who voted 'NO' ($11,960) as they gave to senators who voted 'YES' ($3,714).
  • Wheat, corn, soybeans, and cash grain (opposed this amendment) gave 190% more to senators that voted 'NO' ($5,634) than to senators that voted 'YES' ($1,944).
  • Of the 14 senators who have received over $10,000 in contributions connected to Wheat, corn, soybeans, and cash grain interests over the past 6 years, 12 voted against the measure and only 2 voted in favor.

Methodology: Includes reported contributions to congressional campaigns of senators in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2010. Contributions data source: Center for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.org.

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.