Gov. Perry seeks ethanol waiver

April 27, 2008 at 1:54 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, April 27 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry has sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seeking a waiver on a federal ethanol mandate.

In the letter, Perry, a Republican, argued that the focus on ethanol as an alternative food has contributed to worldwide price inflation and is also hurting Texas. He urged the Bush administration to relax rules on ethanol by waiving 50 percent of the requirement for production of ethanol from plants.

Under current law, the United States is required to produce 9 billion gallons of fuel this year and 11 billion gallons next year.

Perry said he believes the law was well-intentioned but has had unfortunate consequences. Critics say ethanol-based fuel is more polluting than straight gasoline.

About half the gas sold in the United States has at least some ethanol blended in. Most ethanol is made from corn, a factor that has driven up the price of corn and affected many processed foods that include corn syrup and meat from animals fed on corn.

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