EPA Says No To Governor Perry

As part of last year's energy bill, the Environmental Protection Agency wants nine-billion gallons of ethanol blended with gasoline in the next year. Texas Governor Rick Perry asked the EPA if it could cut that number in half, saying demand for ethanol is hurting some farmers and driving up food prices. Today the EPA gave its answer. Bill Stamps reports.
Like a jury foreman reading the verdict in a high profile trial....the EPA'S Stephen Johnson explained why its Ethanol requirement will stay the say same, even though some say its causing higher prices for farmers and consumers.

"Is that the result of the RFS mandate. Our conclusion is no. And second, are those price increases meeting the statutory requirement of severe harm to the economy?—And our conclusion is no."

Most experts agree blending Ethanol with gasoline is a win-win for everyone. It means lower emissions which gives us cleaner air. It means less gas is needed from overseas, and its cheaper for oil companies to produce, which should mean cheaper gas for consumers.

But ethanol is made from corn. And some say the demand is causing corn prices to go up. Farmers who use it to feed their livestock complained to Texas Governor Rick Perry...and so Perry asked the government not to do away with the ethanol requirement, but to lower it.

Logan Caldwell is a Houston Biofuel consultant. He doesn't take sides on the issue, but knew the governor didn't have a real case.

"I don't see any reason for the EPA to provide a waiver.  And if they did provide a waiver, I don't think it would have any impact on what we are seeing in the market."


No impact, because while corn prices may be going up...no one can prove its directly related to the use of more Ethanol.

The EPA's Stephen Johnson goes even further.

"This research found that the [renewable fuels standard] RFS mandate is not causing severe economic hard. Rather the RFS is strengthening our nations energy security, and supporting America's farming communities."

Some studies show gas prices would be even higher than they already are...if it weren't for the use of Ethanol.

Bill Stamps...KUHF Houston Public Radio News.