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EPA proposes to lower gallons of ethanol required in 2014

Lead Summary

Friday’s announcement by the Obama administration that it will consider reducing the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply for the first time was met with strong opposition by farm state members of Congress, farm organizations and the nation’s ethanol industry.
Under the proposal, ethanol production for 2014 would reduced from 14.4 billion gallons to closed to 13 billion gallons.
The action isn’t approved, yet. The Environmental Protection Agency proposal has to be published in the Federal Register, and then a 60-day public comment period starts.
As the EPA proposed reduction in the ethanol mandate was announced, farmers across the nation were completing the harvest of the nation’s largest corn crop ever.
Corn futures, which had been falling due to the size of the crop, fell even further last week after the EPA announcement due to fears that demand for corn will fall.
“You have an industry that is able to produce well above the 14.4 billion gallons of ethanol, which the statute indicated the level would be for 2014,” CVEC’s Manager Mike Jerke said Monday. Now the EPA has arbitrarily suggested breaking that commitment.
Though the proposal has to go through the comment period where supporters of ethanol will be able to give their input, too often what the EPA proposes ends up being adopted despite that public input, he said.
Photo:  Semis lined up at the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company to have their corn tested before dumping their loads.

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