The EPA declined to reduce the renewable fuel quota for this year, even as the State of Texas called for cutting it in half, amid fears that biofuels are driving up food prices and hurting the economy, The New York Times reports.
The agency concluded that reducing America’s dependence on oil eclipses any effect food prices may have from producing fuel from corn, and said that an additional 9 billion gallons of ethanol will enter gasoline supplies this year.
EPA’s administrator Stephen L. Johnson, told New York Times that the mandate was “strengthening our nation’s energy security and supporting American farming communities [and not causing] severe harm to the economy or the environment.”
According to the EPA, 3.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels -mostly ethanol– were used in 2004. Congressed raised the renewables quota to 9 billion gallons for this year from its original 5.4 million gallons due to oil prices soaring.