Sen. tries to halt ethanol production

WASHINGTON The senior senator from Texas filed a bill that would keep production of corn-based ethanol at this year's level of 9 billion gallons. A law passed last year requires that amount increase annually reaching 15 billion in 2015 and 36 billion by 2022.

Hutchison says the requirement is a big reason for this year's rising food prices. Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Republican presidential nominee John McCain are co-sponsors.

Texas Governor Rick Perry had asked the federal government last month to cut the production mandate by 50 percent.

There has been opposition from corn-producing states and the Bush administration. Some experts believe its unlikely Congress would reduce ethanol production requirements in an election year.

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