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EPA proposes reduction in ethanol biofuel mandate

by Andrew Ganz

The EPA has admitted that a 2007-era biofuel requirement hasn\'t quite panned out.

The Environmental Protection Agency in the United States has begun backing off of push toward increasing the amount of corn-based ethanol used in gasoline.

A proposal announced yesterday would trim 2014's biofuel requirements by about 10 percent to 15.21 billion gallons. That figure is 16 percent lower than that required by Congress as part of a bipartisan push largely driven by the farming and agriculture industry in 2007 as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Most gas stations in the U.S. now only sell fuel that contains about 10 percent corn-derived biofeul.

A reduction in the amount of ethanol mixed into gasoline would please both oil refiners and automakers, who have long argued that more than 10 percent ethanol content at gas pumps is detrimental to engines and fuel systems.

Farmers, meanwhile, contend that using a renewable fuel derived from corn is both beneficial to their bottom line and more friendly to the environment than fossil fuels.

Fuel sold at gas stations across the U.S. can also be derived in part from soybeans, grass, crop waste and sugar cane.

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