The EPA may back down from an ambitious set of biofuel requirements enacted in 2007, sources tell Reuters. According to a paper being circulated, the agency would reduce ethanol targets for 2014 by sixteen percent, mandating only 15.21 billion gallons of fuel coming from renewable sources, rather than the planned 18.15 billion.
The move is bad news for corn growers, who provide the raw materials for the fuel, and good news for the oil companies that bear the financial burden of integrating ethanol into their fuels. The other results are more mixed, as government ethanol programs have been criticized for overconsuming water and raising food prices with only dubious evidence that the programs actually succeed in lowering gas prices. The proposal is similar to a bipartisan reform proposal that had been circulated in May, but EPA involvement would circumvent the need for congressional approval.