Corn ethanol would get a larger share of the U.S. gasoline market under a government proposal on Thursday while ranchers, environmentalists and the oil industry aim to kill the renewable fuels mandate altogether.
The Obama administration proposed a 9 percent increase in the so-called renewable fuels standard from 2012, in line with a 2007 law. Half of the 1.35 billion-gallon increase would go to corn ethanol and half to "advanced" biofuels that produce half the greenhouse gases of first-generation ethanol.
Overall, biofuels would be allotted 16.5 billion gallons of the fuel market for cars and light trucks. The mandate reaches 36 billion gallons in 2022, with half of the mandate going to new-generation biofuels.
Last fall, the administration denied a request from several governors from livestock and oil-producing states for a partial or total waiver of the requirement to use ethanol. Corn prices soared during the drought as ethanol makers, livestock producers, and grain exporters competed for a smaller supply.