Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Kyle (R-AZ) and John Sununu (R-NH) introduced legislation to lift the 54¢/gal. tax on imported ethanol. President Bush indicated the tariff should be temporarily lifted to help coastal states secure adequate supplies of gasoline.

Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Barack Obama (D-IL) wrote to Bush in objection. They called it "a serious mistake that would undermine a carefully-targeted U.S. tax incentive promoting the growth and development of our domestic renewable fuels industry."

In another letter, Charles Grassley (R-IA) and John Thune (R-SD) called lifting of the tariff "a victory for the oil companies, a kick in the face to rural America where the ethanol comes from, and leave consumers with the same high gas prices we have today." -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent