EPA denies Texas governor's ethanol waiver requestby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a request from the state of Texas that it reduce the amount of biofuels required to be blended into gas.
The ruling is important for Minnesota ethanol producers.
Texas claimed the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, which this year requires nine billion gallons of biofuels to be mixed with gas, was driving up the cost of food.
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said the higher prices of food and and animal feed aren't enough to cause severe economic or environmental harm, and that's the standard on which the law required him to rule on the request from Texas.
"The agency recognizes that a number of factors contribute to high corn prices as a nation, and as a nation we must address these challenges. The RFS mandate however will remain an important tool in our ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lessen our dependence on foreign oil in aggressive yet practical ways," said Johnson.
Corn prices have dropped steeply in the last month, as the crop appears to be recovering from widespread flooding earlier this summer.