In 2007, then-president George Bush signed a law that required increased production of ethanol. Swelling ethanol demand for fuel combined with this past summer's drought has driven the price of corn (used to make ethanol) up. In fact, prices have swollen some 400 percent in the last seven years. That's comforting for corn growers, who are dealing with much smaller yields than normal. But it's not comforting for livestock producers, poultry farmers and grocery shoppers.

Under the law, the amount of ethanol used in gasoline is supposed to increase to 15.2 billion gallons this year, up from five billion in 2007. The Environmental Protection Agency can decide to delay the increase, however, and it has until Tuesday to consider the circumstances. According to The Detroit News, governors from eight states have asked the EPA to waive the ethanol requirements to prevent corn prices from going any higher. They join almost 200 members of Congress, top United Nations officials, two dozen scientists and scores of poultry farmers in opposing the boost in ethanol production. Governors of poultry-producing states Maryland and Delaware say without a waiver, thousands of jobs could be lost.

On the other side are corn-producing states and the farmers who live there. They argue a waiver would harm their agricultural income and, in turn, harm their state economies.

If a waiver is granted, gas formulations might not be affected at all. E10 gasoline (10-percent ethanol) would still be sold at fuel stations across the nation, but an increase in ethanol production would be delayed. If a waiver is not granted, corn growers will see a demand in their product. And since all that new ethanol has to go somewhere, drivers may see more pumps serving E20 E15 gasoline (20 15-percent ethanol) which cannot be used in pre-2001 vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      Making11s
      • 2 Years Ago
      Corn ethanol is a blight.
      Eric Gutierrez
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hemp ethanol. Problem solved.
      Fgergergrergr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't worry corn ethanol is capped at 15.2 billion gallons. Rest has to come from cellulosic ethanol .
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      This was interesting from the Detroit News story. "We do not have final harvest numbers, making it premature to determine what our total crop supply will be in 2012". That sounds very rational. If the final harvest numbers end up being too low, lower the mandate. If it doesn't turn out to be as low as feared, don't lower the mandate.
      ManOnFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who ever thought that using human food as fuel in motor vehicles must be a pot smoking crack addict. Not only is it extremely harmful to engines, but it makes the price increase for all food which uses corn (which is most of it).
      wilkegm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Signing law that requires increased demand of a commodity, while minimally upsetting traditional energy producers, was a barely disguised offering to one of the biggest lobbies in DC. Corn ethanol is idiotic, at best.
      S.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who's the genius who said "Let's take the corn we could be eating, and use it to make fuel. Oh, and the energy used to create it will be greater than the net energy produced. Plus it will return lower fuel economy, and do a number on your rubber seals." What a jerk.
        Jason
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S.
        That would be large the corn-growing agribusinesses and their purchased reps in Congress.
        lasertekk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S.
        all completely logical reasons NOT to use ethanol. Just follow the money for the truth.
      Number23
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Bakken Reserve has 3T bbl in recoverable oil. To put that in perspective, to date, humanity has used about 1T bbl of oil. There's no need to turn food into fuel, we have centuries worth of oil.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Number23
        @ Number23 The government of North Dakota claims that about 3.0 to 4.3 billion recoverable barrels (680,000,000 m3), with a mean of 3.65 billion, is the current known extent of the Bakkan reserve. Some estimates have put the total oil reserve as high as 167 billion barrels, but this oil is not recoverable with any current technology. The world total proven reserves are only 1,481,526, 000,000 ! The US consumes 9-12 billion barrels of oil per year. Even with the best technology, The Bakkan oil field has a very short life span. Oil depletion is real ! Yes, oil won't run out tomorrow, but economic oil for transport fuel is already in trouble, and at the most optimistic, within 30-60 years, (even with the most advanced recovery technology) , oil will become uneconomic as an energy source. The idea that oil will last centuries, is a fantasy even the oil companies don't believe !
          Kumar
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Yeah, snopes has a similar "Somewhat true...but..." listing. And I think you meant to put that we're consuming 9-12 million barrels a day.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          @ Kumar , Yes, the US does consume 9-12 million barrels of oil per day for transport fuel. However the US also consumes 7 billion barrels per year of oil for all purposes. This is the refined product. Crude usage is about 9-12 billion barrels. An odd coincidence of numbers.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Number23
        Where is the Bakken Reserve?
          wilkegm
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carguy1701
          This help? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakken_formation
      hodad66
      • 2 Years Ago
      Won't effect me at all as I drive my Volt electric most of the time..... ;-)
        NissanGTR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @hodad66
        Until a natural disaster happens.
          hodad66
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NissanGTR
          woooo, fear the natural disaster....... ;-)
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NissanGTR
          @ NissanGTR Well the Volt would still have some power left in it's batteries in a natural disaster, so it wouldn't need to refill from electrically operated gas pumps that couldn't operate..... Do try to think these things through,....
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        @hodad66
        Virtually our entire food economy is based on corn. Take for example steak, fries, buffalo wings, eggs, and soda. None sound like corn, yet all are affected. The cow and chicken were fed corn. The fries were cooked in corn oil. The soda is basically carbonated, diluted corn syrup with a little bit of flavoring.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          @ Actionable Mango Your point is well made, even if your diet seems pretty high in cholesterol ! :)
      EUniqe
      • 2 Years Ago
      what the hell is this deal with ethanol? it chews through rubber and fuel lines, is 34% less efficient than gasoline, which in turn is about 2/3 the efficiency of diesel and it isn't any cheaper to produce and is more expensive to purchase. Is it green? whatever that means. I honestly cannot see the point. sounds like if they abolish this e10 stuff then everyne will be better off
      yyz
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about if we stop burning our food.
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