The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) postponed for six months its decision on whether to allow up to 15% ethanol use in gasoline. The deadline had been Dec. 1, 2009, to respond to a request by an ethanol-promotion group to raise the limit. EPA says it needs more time to conduct tests.

Proponents say the higher blend rate is critical to fulfilling the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act's renewable fuel mandates, which currently require 11.1 billion gals. of renewable fuels (from a variety of sources) to be blended in 2009; 12.95 billion gals. in 2010; 13.95 billion gals. in 2011; and 36 billion gals. in 2022.