The fight between opponents of higher levels of ethanol in gasoline and producers is headed to the Supreme Court.
Oil industry and food groups said Thursday that would take their challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of 15 percent ethanol blends, or E15, to the high court after losing twice in federal appeals court.
The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy, two key U.S. biofuel groups, said the European Union's approval of a 9.5 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol imports was "blatant protectionism" as they vowed to challenge the policy, Reuters reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency certified Great River Energy's new ethanol plant in North Dakota, saying the project will meet the agency's updated Renewable Fuel Standard, The Bismarck Tribune reports.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The persistent drought is taking a toll on producers of ethanol, with corn becoming so scarce that nearly two dozen ethanol plants have been forced to halt production. The Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry trade group, provided data to The Associated Press showing that 20 of the nation's 211 ethanol plants have ceased production over the past year, including five in January. Most remain open, with workers spending time performing maintenance-type tasks. But ethanol production won't likely resume until after 2013 corn is harvested in late August or September.
Industry experts don't expect a shortage — millions of barrels are stockpiled and the remaining 191 plants are still producing. Still, there is growing concern about what happens if the drought lingers through another corn-growing season.
Many U.S. ethanol plants have halted production over the past year, mostly because the drought has made it difficult to get locally produced corn. Most plan to restart, but it may not be until the 2013 corn crop is harvested in September.
Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., and Rep Jim Matheson, D-Utah, introduced legislation that would require the EPA to alter its targets for biofuel production. A trio of Republicans in the Senate introduced a companion measure, FuelFix reports.
According to the Renewable Fuel Association, a report from researchers at the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory found the Renewable Fuel Standard is resulting in lower fuel prices, lower crude imports and increased gross domestic product.