WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has approved higher levels of corn-based ethanol to fuel all cars manufactured in the last decade.

The agency announced Friday that 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline is safe for cars and light-duty trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006. In October, the EPA approved the same mix for vehicles manufactured since 2007.

The maximum gasoline blend has been 10 percent ethanol.

Ethanol is popular in farm country because most of it comes from corn and other grains. It faces strong opposition, however, from the auto industry, environmentalists, cattle ranchers, food companies and a broad coalition of other groups. Those groups say ethanol use makes animal feed more expensive, raises prices at the grocery store and tears up the land.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.