EPA denies Texas governor's ethanol waiver request

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) _ The Environmental Protection Agency denied a request from Texas Governor Rick Perry to cut the federal ethanol mandate in half for a year.

An energy bill passed in December required 9 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into gasoline from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 of next year.

Perry asked the EPA in April to drop the Renewable Fuels Standard requirement to 4.5 billion gallons because demand for ethanol is raising corn prices for livestock producers and driving up food prices.

In a statement issued by his office, Perry called the decision "a mistake'' and "bad public policy.'' EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson says the agency's assessment looked at the livestock issue and found feed prices have increased because of biofuel production.

Perry came under fire early in July after it was reported that he filed his waiver request shortly after Pilgrim's Pride co-founder "Bo'' Pilgrim donated $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association.

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