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Trump's been in favor of the RFS, which is big in Iowa.

Hillary Clinton talks to California regulators about how to possibly tweak or overhaul the renewable-fuels standard.

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Research is suggesting that the proposed reduction to the ethanol level in the Renewable Fuel Standard would be like nearly a million more cars on the road for a year.

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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is in favor of removing $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies and using the money to support ethanol. He also suggests a 30 percent ethanol blend in fuel.

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The RFS Has Rules, But EPA Might Not Be Enforcing Them

A study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison finds that millions of acres of crops might be contributing to the country's ethanol supply, while being in violation of the rules under the Renewable Fuels Standard.

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Process Could Make Hydrogen Production A More Local Affair

Virginia Tech researchers find a way to make hydrogen from corn waste.

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Biodiesel, Cellulosic Viewed As Better Alternative

California, Pennsylvania senators reach across the aisle to propose an anti-corn-ethanol bill.

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With the 2016 US presidential election already getting rolling, the debate over the Renewable Fuel Standard could play role in farming-intense states. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a supporter of the mandate, thinks candidates who don't support the RFS could be at a disadvantage there for the very important caucuses.

Green

The federal government mandates that a certain amount of ethanol be blended with gasoline. The price of corn-based ethanol hasn't been affected by the same anchor-drop in price as petroleum fuel, however, and along with that, the complicated mechanics of its pricing and trade are said to be what is keeping the price of gas from falling even further.

AP report already causing backlash from farmers and lobbyists

Across the Dakotas and Nebraska, more than 1 million acres of the Great Plains are giving way to cornfields as farmers transform the wild expanse that once served as the backdrop for American pioneers.

Refusal to hear case paves the way for expanded use of the ethanol blend

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a case that attempted to thwart the sale of fuel containing a higher percentage of ethanol, a decision that could clear the way for the more widespread use of E15.

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A US ethanol glut is causing some biofuels producers to go full circle by diverting their corn from fuel production towards food products such as energy bars and fish food, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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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.

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There's one more reason why a higher ethanol-blend requirement is a hot-button issue: drought.

ETC

Farming is one of the most difficult ways to earn a living. You'd think that with all the innovations mankind has developed over the centuries, we could make farmers' lives easier. But as it turns out, sometimes miracles of modern science make things tougher. Literally.

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Sugar beets are a more efficient source for ethanol production than corn for a lot of reasons: they use less land, less water and, they can grown in many regions during the winter where it's too cold to grow corn.

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Corn-based ethanol is a controversial fuel in its own right, and a longstanding federal subsidy for blending the biofuel with gasoline has been an additional source of consternation over the last 30 years. According to The Detroit News, Congress has wrapped up its work for 2011 without extending the incentive, a move that's drawn praise from environmental groups and taxpayer advocates.

For good or ill, a lot of what Americans eat is made of corn. It's not just the obvious ears alongside your main course, it's the sweetener in your drinks and to a large extent the meat on your sandwich. Corn is a viable crop across a large swath of the United States, and thanks to both modern farming techniques and not insignificant government subsidies, it's an extremely cheap source of calories for both humans and animals. Twice as much U.S. corn goes to feeding animals as it does to directly

Back in March of 2011, a Valero representative posted this response to a question on a Yahoo! Finance message board: