Two studies were commissioned by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and National Turkey Federation, both members of the Food Before Fuel Coalition, to examine the effects of a higher blending rate for ethanol. The coalition opposes a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency to raise the ethanol-gasoline blend rate to as much as 15 percent from 10 percent.
The studies, "Implications for U.S. Corn Availability Under a Higher Blending Rate for Ethanol: How Much Corn will be Needed," and “Issues with an Ethanol Blend Rate Increase," were conducted by Advanced Economic Solutions and FarmEcon LLC , respectively. Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions, said in a press conference that raising the blending rate poses a major shortfall of availability of corn in the next five years. Raising the limit to 12 percent, by his estimates, would require boosting the total U.S. crop to 101 million acres and using 42 percent of the crop to make ethanol. Raising it to 15 percent would require 111 million acres and using 48 percent of the crop to make ethanol.