U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer criticised U.S. ethanol producers for depending too heavily on government subsidies and said reductions in government support were needed.
Schafer said the ethanol industry must eventually become commercially self-sustaining.
Last week at the National Republican Convention, the Republicans' platform called for an end to government requirements for ethanol-blended gasoline. Republican leaders said markets – not government – should determine ethanol usage.
Secretary Schafer said USDA, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Department and other agencies, plans to roll out a "biofuels action plan" within the next few weeks.
About a third of this year's U.S. corn crop is going to produce ethanol amid efforts to meet the government's Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires 9 billion gallons in renewable fuels to be blended into the nation's gasoline supply this year, and 11.1 billion gallons in 2009.
Source: American Meat Institute (AMI)