Two new developments on the ethanol front. A U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency panel has recommended a substantial reduction in the use of M-T-B-E. That’s the oil-based fuel additive which competes with corn-based ethanol. A few panel members went so far as to recommend banning M-T-B-E nationwide,as it has contaminated some water wells. Analysts predict the price of cornmight go up as much as 35-cents-per-bushel if M-T-B-E is banned nationwide. In Iowa yesterday, Governor Tom Vilsack said he would be willing to calllegislators back in a “special session” if they’d agree to make ethanol theonly fuel pumped from Iowa gas stations. Senate Republican Leader StewartIverson, however, says no agreement is forthcoming.Iverson says the legislature already banned M-T-B-E, ethanol’s oil-basedcompetitor, from Iowa pumps. Iverson says that’s preferable to forcingmotorists to use ethanol.
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