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Ethanol Makers Not Fans Of Low-carbon Standards

Via Grist, Philip Brasher reports that biofuel producers are nervous that California's new low-carbon fuel standard will subject ethanol to greater scrutiny—by looking at all aspects of ethanol production, including land use—and, as a result, could end up excluding the fuel altogether. From the way corn producers are moaning, you'd almost get the sense that ethanol isn't such a clean fuel after all. (They're mostly arguing that ethanol's ripple effects on land use and deforestation are still too murky to require intervention.)

A handful of Northeastern states, meanwhile, are thinking about laying down a similar low-carbon fuel standard, which regulates refiners, importers, and blenders (that is, it comes on top of fuel-economy rules for automakers). President Obama has talked about creating a similar standard at the federal level, and while that was always expected to elicit bared canines from the oil industry, we can probably now add King Corn to the ranks of opponents.

--Bradford Plumer