Boost for US farmers as Trump says he may allow ethanol gasoline sales all year
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday his administration may allow the sale of gasoline containing 15pc ethanol year-round, which could help farmers by firing up corn demand but faces opposition from Big Oil.
The proposal marks the latest move by the Trump administration to navigate the rival oil and corn constituencies as they clash over the nation’s biofuels policy.
Oil refiners say the Renewable Fuel Standard requiring them to add biofuels into gasoline is costly and displaces petroleum, while the farm sector says the law provides critical support to growers.
The Environmental Protection Agency currently bans the higher ethanol blend, called E15, during summer because of concerns it contributes to smog on hot days - a worry biofuels advocates say is unfounded.
Gasoline typically contains just 10pc ethanol.
“We’re going to be going probably, probably to 15 and we’re going to be going to a 12-month period,” Trump told reporters during a White House meeting.
“We’re going to work out something during the transition period, which is not easy, very complicated.”
Earlier on Thursday, EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said the agency “has been assessing the legal validity of granting an E15 waiver since last summer” and is awaiting an outcome from discussions with the White House, the Department of Agriculture and Congress before making any final decisions.