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EPA grants waiver for more ethanol in auto fuel

October 13, 2010 | 11:01 am


The Environmental Protection Agency has approved blending higher concentrations of ethanol into gasoline for newer vehicles, allowing mixtures with as much as 15% of the corn-based fuel at the pump.

The current maximum blend is 10%. The EPA announced Wednesday that the higher blend will be approved for vehicles manufactured since 2007.

The move is politically popular in rural farm areas. But ethanol faces strong opposition from the auto industry, environmentalists, cattle ranchers, food companies and a broad coalition of other groups.

The EPA has said that a congressional mandate for increased ethanol use can't be achieved without allowing higher blends. Congress has required refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels, mostly ethanol, into auto fuel by 2022.

-- Associated Press

Photo: The EPA's decision on ethanol in automotive fuel is aimed at lowering emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images