The federal Environmental Protection Agency has rejected Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s request that the amount of ethanol that must be used in gasoline be reduced. The EPA found no compelling evidence that ethanol mandates were causing economic harm.

Perry, a Republican, said that “Good intentions and laudable goals are small compensation to the families, farmers and ranchers who are being hurt by the federal government’s effort to trade food for fuel.” Meanwhile, in Iowa, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin supported the EPA. Grassley said the EPA’s ruling was a “victory for clean energy, rural America, and national security, and a blow to those who have used ethanol as a scapegoat for rising fuel and food prices.”

The ethanol debate has divided rural interest groups. Farm groups has supported the ethanol mandate while meat producers and ranchers have opposed it.

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