Ethanol Scores Victory With EPA Decision

The Environmental Protection Agency has denied a request from Texas to cut the federal ethanol mandate in half for a year in hopes of bringing down corn prices.

Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, says EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson spoke to Perry about his waiver request by phone Thursday.  Johnson is to announce the agency's decision publicly later in the day.

An energy bill passed in December requires that 9 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline, from next month through Aug. 31 of next year.  Perry asked the EPA in April to drop the requirement to 4.5 billion gallons, saying demand for ethanol is raising corn prices for livestock producers and driving up food prices for people, too.