Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeAll NewsUSEPA to temporarily expand sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline this summer

USEPA to temporarily expand sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline this summer

In a letter dated Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to temporarily expand sales of higher-ethanol gasoline blends this summer, aiming to mitigate potential supply disruptions due to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, reported Reuters.

This decision marks the third consecutive year of extending the period during which Americans can purchase E15, a gasoline blend containing 15% ethanol. Normally, sales of such blends are restricted from June 1 to September.

While ethanol-blended gasoline can contribute to smog in hot weather, studies have shown little difference in air pollution between E15 and the more common E10 blends.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan explained, “Considering that no significant change in air pollution is projected to occur as a result of this action, the EPA concludes that this action is in the public interest.”

The announcement was welcomed by the Farm Belt, an influential constituency in the upcoming presidential election, as increased demand for their products is anticipated.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper praised the move, stating, “With gas prices rising and global energy markets facing geopolitical conflicts, we commend President Biden and EPA Administrator Michael Regan for their decisive action to address potential fuel shortages and stabilize gas prices this summer.”

Lawmakers, including Senator John Thune of South Dakota and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, advocated for expanded E15 sales in a letter to President Biden, citing improved energy security.

The waiver allowing expanded E15 sales will take effect on May 1 and last for 20 days, with intentions to extend it until no longer needed.

The corn industry has long sought year-round E15 sales, with recent progress including the administration’s approval in February of Midwestern governors’ request to allow summertime E15 sales in their states from 2025 onwards. Efforts for a nationwide, permanent expansion of E15 sales continue.

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