Barack Obama on Friday backed away from the notion of corn ethanol representing a cure for climate change, as he proposed to cut the amount of ethanol that is blended into the US gasoline supply.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it would for the first time seek to lower quotas for ethanol that have diverted close to 40% of America's corn crop from the global food chain and into the country's gas tanks. The EPA said it would seek to reduce the quotas under the Renewable Fuel Standard, from 16.55bn gallons this year to 15.21bn gallons in 2014. The proposal would peg the ethanol mandate to around 10% of the country's fuel supply.
The quota reduction will apply to all biofuels, including advanced biofuels which do not rely on food stocks but are made from plants like switch grass or corn stalks. It will also affect imports of Brazilian ethanol, which is made from sugarcane.
Officials said the president remains committed to ethanol. ...