At a visit in Iowa today, President Trump made an announcement that will allow year round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol — a win for farm states that have pushed for an increase in sales of corn-based fuel. At the rally, President Trump is expected to announce the lift of a federal ban on summer sales of high-ethanol blends, opening up the door for sales of E15.
According to Get Bio Fuel, E15 is a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent regular gasoline. Right now, almost every gas station in America sells a 10 percent blend, but many more are starting to offer E15. E15 was approved in 2012 by the EPA for any vehicle manufactured since 2001. That is nearly 9 out of 10 cars on the road today — and it contains more ethanol, which means lower prices, cleaner air and better performance. E15 is a high-performance fuel that increases horsepower — and thanks to the ethanol, it burns cleaner and cooler.
Iowa’s Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a statement Monday following news of Trump’s decision on E15. “Today’s decision from President Trump is a big win for Iowa. I am grateful to the president for following through on his promise to allow the sale of E15 year round–a decision that will bring greater stability to the ag economy. Once again, President Trump has shown his commitment to farmers in Iowa and the rest of the country. Iowa is the United States’ largest producer of ethanol, and this announcement will provide positive momentum for our hard-working farmers.”
National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp also celebrated the announcement, saying, “Corn farmers across the country have been advocating for year-round sales of higher ethanol blends like E15 to help grow demand, provide consumers with more options at the pump and improve economic conditions across rural America. We thank President Trump for following through on his commitment to America’s farmers.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “Expanding the sale of E15 year-round is sound policy for a variety of reasons. Consumers will have more choices when they fill up at the pump, including environmentally friendly fuel with decreased emissions. It is also an excellent way to use our high corn productivity and improved yields. Year-round sale of E15 will increase demand for corn, which is obviously good for growers. This has been a years-long fight and is another victory for our farm and rural economies.”
The current ban on the high-ethanol blend, which is predicted to be lifted, was in place by the EPA due to concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days. A claim ethanol industry advocates says is unfounded.
Not everyone has shown support for the ban lift. According to The Associated Press, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, many from oil-producing states, sent Trump a letter last week opposing expanded sales of high-ethanol gas. The lawmakers called the approach “misguided” and said it would do nothing to protect refinery jobs and “could hurt millions of consumers whose vehicles and equipment are not compatible with higher-ethanol blended gasoline.”
The letter was signed by 16 Republicans and four Democrats, including Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a key Trump ally. New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, whose state includes several refineries, also signed the letter.