Ethanol supporters say they're digging in their heels and will do whatever they can to get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse a recent proposal to reduce the minimum levels of ethanol required in the domestic fuel supply, the Des Moines Register says.
Groups such as the Renewable Fuels Association say they may consider legal action to fight what was a victory of sorts for anti-ethanol entities such as the automakers and Big Oil. Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association are among others that have joined that fight against an ethanol-reduction mandate.
Ethanol advocates are responding to the EPA's proposal to reduce the level of ethanol and other renewable fuels in the domestic fuel supply. The 2014 ethanol requirement would be cut from 18 billion gallons to 15.2. Anti-ethanol groups say the reduction is needed because the US has hit a so-called "blend wall," in which the reduction of overall driving and improvements in fleetwide fuel economy has made it more challenging for the US to meet biofuel minimums. These same groups have argued against the widespread use of a 15-percent ethanol blend (or E15), saying it's potentially damaging to engines. Meanwhile, ethanol advocates will use the EPA's 60-day comment period to hammer home their argument that broader ethanol use cuts foreign-oil dependency, helps US employment and reduces refueling prices.