U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce the revoking of a federal ban on summer sales of higher-ethanol mixed gasoline in Washington DC, ahead of a trip to Iowa. Sources familiar with the event reported that apparently, Iowa is the largest producer of ethanol in the U.S. and the pending announcement is likely to help Trump’s Republican representatives to compete against rivals in the upcoming elections in the nation’s farm belt sector, cite sources.
According to Reuters, the revoking of the summer ban on the E15 (15% ethanol) gasoline is likely to be coupled with terminating restrictions on trading biofuel credits that fortified the program. However, it’s still uncertain whether the restrictions will be detailed or left to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to decide.
Incidentally, the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade association for the oil and natural gas industry in the U.S., seems to oppose revoking the summer ban, as it could lead to a severe drop in the industry’s market share of gasoline sales. In addition, the move could also face a bipartisan opposition in Congress.
Allegedly, the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard mandates refiners to add increased amounts of biofuels such as ethanol into the fuel pool each year to meet the consumers’ demands and if left short are forced to buy credits from competitors who own ethanol reserves.
Due to the summer ban refining companies have reportedly been complaining about volatile prices in recent years, which eventually affects business revenues.
For the record, the federal ban on ethanol was put in place to reduce smog and to improve the air quality of the region, although studies now prove that the environmental benefits achieved with this initiative were limited. Sources close to the matter suggest that President Trump will direct Environmental Protection Agency to write a rule for revoking the summer ban on ethanol, expected to be finalized before the next summer driving season.