Friday, May 31, 2019

Feds allow year-round sale of fuel mix that's 15% ethanol; boon for farmers, bad for Big Oil, which says it will sue

"Farm groups are celebrating the Trump administration completing actions to allow for year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol blends or E15," AgDaily reports. "The final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency eliminates the outdated barrier that required retailers in many areas of the country to stop selling E15 during the summer months by allowing E15 to receive the same summer volatility adjustment EPA permits for E10," fuel that is 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol.

President Trump is "keeping a campaign promise to farmers suffering from the trade war with China but drawing a legal threat from the oil industry," Reuters reports. "In a nod to the oil industry, the agency also issued new rules to improve transparency in the market for biofuels credits that refiners must acquire under the nation’s biofuel law, but the steps stopped short of what many refiners were seeking."

“Corn farmers have been long-time advocates of higher blends of ethanol such as E15, touting its benefits to both the farmer and the consumer,” National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp told AgDaily. “Farmers are facing some tough times which makes this announcement particularly welcome.”

Ag Daily says "Higher blends of renewable fuels such as E15 reduce fuel prices for drivers by three to 10 cents per gallon and result in lower emissions, improving air quality and providing greater greenhouse-gas reductions. Blending additional ethanol replaces some of the most harmful components in gasoline, and cleaner ethanol results in 43 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline."

The the oil industry "views biofuels as competition for its petroleum-based fuels and has threatened to sue the Trump administration," Reuters notes, quoting Chet Thompson, the president and CEO of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers: “EPA has left us no choice but to pursue legal action to get this unlawful rule overturned.”

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