Tide turns against corn ethanol


2010-12-20 Nature News
Biofuel subsidy sees limited extension in US tax bill as opposition grows

Corn ethanol production has long been supported by hefty government subsidies - but for how much longer? Patrick Fallon / Bloomberg / Getty Image

Corn ethanol production has long been supported by hefty government subsidies - but for how much longer? Patrick Fallon / Bloomberg / Getty Image

Buffeted by the economic crisis and a drop in the oil price, US producers of corn ethanol are encountering increasing scepticism from the legislators on Capitol Hill even as producers of the ‘greener’ cellulose-derived ethanol struggle to move beyond basic research and development.

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One Response to Tide turns against corn ethanol

  1. Alan Burke says:

    2011-01-21 Scientific American, Reuters
    U.S. okays ethanol boost for more cars

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Friday backed a request to sharply boost the use of ethanol in more than half the nation’s cars, raising the stakes in a contentious debate over the safety and cost of converting more corn into fuel.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement increasing the maximum ethanol blend rate in gasoline to 15 percent from 10 percent in vehicles built from 2001 to 2006 was not a surprise, coming just months after it allowed so-called E15 in cars and trucks built in 2007 or later.

    But it is still likely to fire heated rhetoric over higher ethanol use at a time of rising food and fuel costs, even though it may be years yet before E15 clears the legal and logistical hurdles that effectively prevent its sale today.

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