The upcoming rule to implement the standard comes as the corn ethanol industry is reeling from weakened demand and the financial crisis, prompting some plants to close.
The industry is leaning on EPA to issue a finding that allows higher ethanol blends in gasoline than the current 10 percent limit in order to expand the market.
The new 2009 annual outlook by the Renewable Fuels Association—a major ethanol trade group—warns that the industry is "quickly careening toward the blend wall," or the point at which the gasoline market is saturated with as much ethanol as it can handle at the 10 percent level.
"Without a change in federal standards, that level of ethanol use will undermine the goals of the RFS and become an unwarranted cap on the growth of this industry and the development of next-generation technologies," it states. The issue is under EPA review as agencies gauge how higher blends would affect engines and emissions.
The industry is posed to produce in excess of 10 billion gallons of ethanol this year, according to the trade group.
Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500