Reservoir Hill writes: "Little over a year ago, ethanol was winning the hearts and wallets of both Main Street and Wall Street, with promises of greater US energy independence, fewer greenhouse gases and help for the farm economy. But the Wall Street Journal reports that critics now blame ethanol for pushing up food prices and dispute how much it really helps reduce the need for oil while environmentalists say additional ethanol production could strain water supplies and impair water quality and the EPA says that "ozone levels generally increase with increased ethanol use." President Bush gave ethanol a boost in his State of the Union speech in 2005 by calling for "strong funding" of renewable energy. Energy legislation that summer required oil companies to blend a total of 7.5 billion gallons of "renewable" fuels into the nation's fuel supply by 2012. Now the ethanol lobby is pushing for the Senate version of pending energy legislation, which includes a requirement that gasoline blenders use 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022 but formidable opponents such as the livestock, packaged-food and oil industries also have lawmakers' ears and what once looked like a slam-dunk could now languish in pending energy legislation that might not pass for weeks, if ever."
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