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Fight Over Ethanol Quotas Heats Up as U.S. Nears Final Decision

All sides in the contentious debate over how much ethanol to blend into the nation’s gasoline are making their final pitches as the Obama administration nears a Nov. 30 deadline to set three years’ worth of renewable fuel quotas.

Representatives of the oil industry’s biggest trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, were scheduled to meet with White House officials Friday to argue that ethanol quotas should be kept below the current 10 percent threshold acceptable for use in all cars and trucks. The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers delivered a similar message Thursday.

On the other side, the Fuels America coalition of biofuel boosters and producers, including DuPont Co., Royal DSM NV and Poet LLC, launched an ad campaign pressing the administration to boost the proposed quotas in line with higher statutory targets.

"This ad campaign is sort of the last major chance we have to get the attention of the president to focus on this question, which EPA has really gone very much backwards on," said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, a coalition member. "It’s the last big chance we have to get this right."

The Environmental Protection Agency in May proposed targets that fell short of levels mandated in a decade-old law -- raising the ire of renewable fuel...