The federal government should increase the ethanol blend level up to 15 percent, which will promote environmental protection, help create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

In a letter sent to Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, AFBF said increasing the ethanol blend level up to 15 percent from the current level of 10 percent is critical to the sustained health and expansion of corn and cellulosic ethanol production in the United States.

AFBF sent the letter to Jackson in response to a request for public comments by EPA on a proposed waiver of the Clean Air Act to raise the ethanol blend level.

“Increasing our use of domestically produced biofuels is key to helping improve our nation’s energy security,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

“If recent events have taught us anything it is that our nation should develop energy resources right here at home. Increasing the blend ethanol level shows our nation’s commitment to renewable fuels as we work to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”