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Environment Canada announced over the holidays that it will water down renewable fuels requirements in the 2010 Renewable Fuels Regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Home heating oil will be permanently exempt from the 2% renewable content requirement across the country. In Canada’s Maritime Provinces, there will be a further 6-month delay in requiring the 2% renewable content in diesel fuel. The announcement gives no reason for the change. Admittedly, corn-based ethanol grown with petroleum products drives up food prices and may not have a lower environmental footprint than regular gasoline, but it is intended to build a bridge to a future that could be based on the more environmentally benign cellulosic ethanol.

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