EPA postpones decision on ethanol requirements

July 22, 2008 11:54:22 AM PDT
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday put off a decision on Texas' request to temporarily waive ethanol requirements for gasoline. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said the agency needed more time to review more than 15,000 public comments and consult with other departments.

A decision was due Thursday on a request from Texas Gov. Rick Perry to halve the ethanol requirement this year.

An energy bill passed in December required 9 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into gasoline this year. Perry, a Republican, asked the EPA in April to drop the requirement to 4.5 billion gallons because the demand for ethanol is raising corn prices for livestock producers.

More than four dozen House Republicans and two dozen GOP senators, including presidential candidate John McCain, had written to EPA in support of the waiver. The state of Connecticut also supported Texas' request.

The agency said it hopes to have a decision in early August.