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Biofuel debate faces showdown in US

· 25% of US corn crop already used for biofuel,Texas governor wants biofuel target cut by 50%,Barack Obama wants big inc

Source:  Copyright 2008, Guardian
Date:  August 6, 2008
Byline:  Elana Schor
Original URL: Status ONLINE

The moment of truth is at hand for US biofuels this week as environmental regulators prepare to rule on one state's request to halve the steep national target for blending ethanol into fuel.

Texas governor Rick Perry asked the US environmental protection agency (EPA) in April to cut the national biofuels target 50% from its current level of 9bn gallons. After an unexpected delay last month, the EPA is expected to rule on Perry's waiver request as soon as this week.

The waiver proposal has stoked a fierce political row over the future of biofuels, with some US politicians echoing their European counterparts in questioning whether ethanol's effect on food prices limits its usefulness as an alternative to traditional fuel.

"We need to put an end to flawed government policies that distort the markets, raise food prices artificially, and pit producers against consumers," senator John McCain said in May ...

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