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Associated Press
This marks the third year in a row the mandated levels have been reduced

All across the country today, most of the gasoline that is sold at the pumps by all major fueling stations has 10 percent ethanol in it. Some station may sell fuel that has no ethanol, but 10 percent is usually the norm. Some automakers feel that ethanol needs to be eliminated to hit future fuel economy standards.

Supporters point to the claims that the use of ethanol reduces the amount of fuel we need from imported crude oil and creates jobs for farmers who grow corn. It’s estimated that about 40 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. goes into ethanol production. Corn, however, isn't the only plant material that we can get ethanol from.

Cellulosic ethanol comes from non-food crops and the EPA had expected the use of this sort of ethanol produced from plants like switchgrass, waste products, and woody pulp to increase significantly. The problem is that the mass production of cellulosic ethanol hasn’t happened the way the EPA envisioned. An energy law passed in 2007 mandated that the U.S. was to use 500 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in fuel by 2012. The fuel hasn’t been made in significant enough quantities to meet that goal and the EPA is now proposing a cut back on the goal. 

The EPA wants to cut the goal back to no more than 12.9 million gallons of the cellulosic ethanol in fuel next year and based on market availability of the fuel that number could be far less. The Detroit News reports that this is the third year in a row that estimates for cellulosic ethanol use have been slashed. Previously the target for 2012 and 2011 for cellulosic ethanol use were 100 million gallons each year, which was cut to 6.5 million gallons for each year.

The EPA said, "[We will] continue to evaluate the market as it works to finalize the cellulosic standard in the coming months. The agency remains optimistic that the commercial availability of cellulosic biofuel will continue to grow in the years ahead."

To reach the future goals for cellulosic ethanol production, the government is looking to help companies break ground on new refineries to produce cellulosic ethanol. President Obama said in March, "Over the next two years, we'll help entrepreneurs break ground for four next-generation biorefineries — each with a capacity of more than 20 million gallons per year."

The reason for the big push to move from corn-based ethanol to cellulosic ethanol is that some claim the high use of corn for fuel is driving up the price of some food products.

The U.S. Senate recently voted to repeal the subsidy on ethanol of $0.45 cents per gallon.

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RE: It's about time...
By 91TTZ on 6/22/2011 2:18:31 PM , Rating: 3
It's not about Democrats vs. Republicans, it's about the influential farm lobby.

When any presidential candidate runs for the nomination of his party, the first state to vote is Iowa. Iowa sets the tone for the entire election season so they have a disproportionate influence on the outcome of the elections. Farming is very important in Iowa so all presidential hopefuls need to appease the Iowa farmers and voters.

It's doubtful that you'll find a candidate who opposes what the farmer stands for.

RE: It's about time...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2011 2:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
But if someone offers you money for something that you know deep down is wrong, and you take it, what does that make you?

Lobbyist aren't part of Congress, they don't make policy. I'm blaming those who are and do.

I agree with you about Iowa though, and you're right. But sooner or later someone, somewhere, is going to have to make a tough decision and piss off a ton of voters somewhere. We just can't go on as a country with these unsustainable subsidies and spending levels.

RE: It's about time...
By ClownPuncher on 6/22/2011 3:17:23 PM , Rating: 4
But if someone offers you money for something that you know deep down is wrong, and you take it, what does that make you?

U.S. Politician.

RE: It's about time...
By axias41 on 6/23/2011 3:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
Just politician. Everywhere is the same sh|t.

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