Fiscal conservatives are upset about last year's $5 billion price tag on ethanol subsidies even as the government spent at least $5 billion to secure foreign supplies of oil, according to Matt Hartwig, the director of communications for the Renewable Fuels Association. In addition, ethanol-related transactions generated about $8.4 billion in tax revenues in 2009, resulting in $3.4 billion net revenue for the Treasury that year, Hartwig writes.

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