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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Biden Administration Set to Greenlight Year-Round E15 Gasoline Sales by 2025

In a bid to reinforce green and renewable energy policies, President Joe Biden’s administration is all set to endorse an expansion of E15 gasoline sales, according to trusted White House sources. 

This move, albeit critical but contentious, strives to advance ethanol’s share in the energy market, despite the wait until 2025 for its full execution.

Blueprint for Biofuels: Administration’s Ethanol Action Plan

E15 Gasoline
Credits: Minnesotta Crown Growers Association

Sources intimate that the White House is favoring a cluster of Midwest governors’ plea for an unrestricted, year-round trade of high-ethanol-blended gasoline, often known as E15. 

However, the biofuel industry, eager for a broader market for corn-based ethanol, might find the administration’s projected timeline somewhat dissatisfactory.

It seems strategic that this pro-ethanol policy will come into full swing in 2025, effectively sidelining any potential regional surges in prices and supply complications threatened by oil industry insiders until after the upcoming U.S. election.

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Midwest Governors’ Plea and Voter Sentiment

The White House is said to agree to the Midwest governors’ petition, appealed in 2022, which calls for permitting unrestricted year-round E15 sales, with implementation planned for 2025. 

The governors represent states including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. As a stopgap, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can issue temporary exemptions as required.

With Wisconsin and Minnesota appearing as critical districts in the impending presidential election, questions revolve around how this step will impact voter sentiment, with inflation and the economy as key uncertainties for Biden’s re-election bid.

Environmental Controversy and Industry Opposition

Joe Biden
Credits: DepositPhotos

Current U.S. regulations constrain E15 sales in summer months over smog-related environmental concerns. 

However, the ethanol industry and segment of Midwestern states maintain that such environmental impacts have been excessively amplified.

Yet, this push for ethanol has been marked by controversy. Oil refiners, like HF Sinclair Corp and Phillips 66, object to what they view as a piecemeal approach to approving E15 sales. 

They believe that such patterns complicate fuel supply chains and increase the possibility of localized shortages.

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Washington’s Way Forward

With a proposal’s final ruling already dispatched to the White House in December, EPA originally planned the effective date of the E15 expansion to be April 28, 2024. Yet, the updated timeline perceivably extends it by a year.

Ethanol-leaning organizations indicate that they would favor a nationwide policy permitting more extensive E15, as opposed to a regional resolution. 

The administration is likely to offer temporary exceptions this summer for E15 sales, waiting for an expanded market availability across the U.S in 2025.

As America readies itself for an energy revolution, whether these new policies will work as planned remains a matter of intense speculation and discourse.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Ethanol enhanced gasoline doesn’t not save the planet.It costs just as much as gasoline, emit’s the same emissions. it damages the internal components of engines reducing efficiency. Ethanol in gasoline is an obviously stupid idea!

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