Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday rejected a request from eight governors and nearly 200 members of Congress to waive requirements for the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline, after last summer’s severe drought wilted much of the nation’s corn crop.
The move is a victory for corn farmers who have seen corn prices jump 400 percent in recent years. But it is a loss for pork and beef producers who say the diversion of corn to ethanol raises feed prices and ultimately prices at the supermarket.
Automakers have clashed with ethanol advocates and opposed boosting the percentage of ethanol. They argue that higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline — which may be necessary in order to meet stepped-up minimums for annual ethanol usage — can harm engines in most vehicles on the road today.