"We are extremely frustrated and discouraged that EPA chose to ignore the clear economic argument from tens of thousands of family farmers and livestock and poultry producers that the food-to-fuel policy is causing and will cause severe harm to regions in which those farmers and producers operate," the coalition said in a statement.
Environmental groups also have opposed increased ethanol production, saying the excess corn planting is tearing up the land.
Scott Faber, a lobbyist for the Environmental Working Group, said this most recent waiver denial may further energize ethanol opponents to lobby Congress to repeal the entire renewable fuels law and not "tinker with a safety valve that is too tight for either a Democratic or Republican administration to turn."
The Bush administration turned down a request by Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2008 to waive the mandate because of drought in his state.
A spokesman for Perry said Friday's decision is "another punch in the gut" for states' agricultural economies.
"Congress provided relief from the Renewable Fuels Standard in the form of emergency waivers, yet the EPA continually refuses to accept requests from the states whose economies are being harmed the most," said Josh Havens.
EPA's denial of ethanol waivers: http://tinyurl.com/8c5moke
Find Mary Clare Jalonick on Twitter at http://twitter.com/mcjalonick