EPA finalizes plan to expand ethanol use in gasoline this summer
jaboo2foto/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Gasoline that contains a higher percentage of ethanol should be available to drivers around the country this summer, the Trump administration announced Friday.
The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a proposal to lift limits on the amount of ethanol in gasoline, saying it will expand the market for biofuels.
“As President Trump promised, EPA is approving the year-round sale of E15 in time for summer driving season, giving drivers more choices at the pump,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release.
President Donald Trump said he would ask for the change at a campaign rally last March, months before the midterm elections. Expanding ethanol is seen as a way to boost markets for corn produced in Midwestern states and benefit political candidates that support expanded ethanol production.
The EPA originally set limits on gasoline with 15 percent ethanol because of concerns the higher temperatures in the summer can lead to more air pollution.
Critics see the decision as an attempt by Trump to help farmers in the Midwest who have been hurt by the trade war with China and declining commodity prices. Corn growers have called for the administration to allow more ethanol and have opposed waivers from oil refineries exempting them from requirements to include a minimum amount of ethanol.
Many farmers are facing historic delays in planting corn crops due to severe flooding. Other efforts to help struggling farmers in states impacted by natural disasters have stalled in Congress.
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