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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7ca0000Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Like Harvest Public Media on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @HarvestPM.

EPA Proposes Using Less Ethanol In Nation's Fuel Supply

ethanol_pumps_grant_gerlock.jpg
Grant Gerlock
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Harvest Public Media/File photo

The federal government is proposing refiners use slightly less ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply next year. However, the cut would not be a blow to corn farmers.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the annual mandate for renewable fuel and is suggesting a 2 percent decrease for 2018, down to just over 19 billion gallons.

That cut does not come from corn ethanol, which consumes a large part of the corn crop in the Midwest and the Great Plains. Instead, the cut comes from the more carbon friendly cellulosic biofuels made from things like corn stalks and switchgrass.

The EPA will take comments and finalize the numbers later this year. If the proposal holds up, it would be just the second time the ethanol mandate has decreased from one year to the next.