Bush might call for increasing ethanol to as much as 10 percent of total gasoline consumption by 2012. Such a ramp-up could require producing 15 billion gallons of ethanol a year by then compared with the current goal of 7.5 billion gallons. The nation’s existing capacity is 5.4 billion gallons per year.
With half or more of the new production expected to come from corn, the ethanol lobby is racing to maintain the momentum before a critical mass of backlash develops in Congress and among the general public, the Times reported.
Ethanol has only two-thirds the energy of gasoline and relies on subsidies to make it economical.