"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."
"The tax break, created more than 30 years ago, had long seemed untouchable. But in the last year, during which Congress was preoccupied with deficits and debt, it became a symbol of corporate welfare. Fiscal conservatives joined liberal environmentalists to kill it, with help from a diverse coalition of outside groups.
In the United States, most ethanol is produced from corn. The demise of the subsidy is all the more remarkable because it comes at the peak of the political season in Iowa, where corn is king."
Robert Pear reports for the New York Times January 1, 2012.