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Michigan corn growers oppose lowering ethanol fuel mandate

Michigan’s corn growers are fighting a proposal to scale back the federal mandate on adding ethanol to the nation’s fuel supply.

Since 2007, the Renewable Fuel Standard has required a sizable portion of the nation’s fuel supply come from ethanol. Most of gasoline sold in the U.S. contains 10% ethanol.

But today is the deadline for the public to comment on a proposal to reduce a federal ethanol fuel mandate.  The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing cutting almost a fifth of the ethanol mandated to be part of the nation’s fuel supply.

That doesn’t sit well with Michigan corn growers. Jim Zook is the executive director the Michigan Corn Growers Association.  He says the mandate has meant hundreds of millions of dollars to Michigan’s economy and saved Michigan consumers money too.

“We hope that they’ll come and agree with us that and keep the renewable fuel standard where it is at,” says Zook.

Supporters of cutting the ethanol mandate say increased domestic oil production and more fuel efficient cars and trucks have done more to reduce oil imports than adding ethanol to gasoline.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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