In Boost for Farmers, Trump Says He May Allow E15 Gasoline Sales All Year
by Jeff Mason (Reuters) U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday his administration may allow the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol year-round, which could help farmers by firing up corn demand but faces opposition from Big Oil.
“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.
It was unclear, however, whether the move would help the refining sector – which has been lobbying hard instead for a cap on the price of blending credits that refiners must acquire to prove compliance with the RFS.
Greater blending of ethanol through year-round E15 sales would theoretically increase supplies of the tradable credits, and thus reduce prices. But at the same time, more ethanol translates to a smaller share of petroleum-based fuel in American gas tanks, which would hurt refiner sales.
The American Petroleum Institute, which represents big oil companies, issued a statement opposing Trump’s proposal to expand E15 sales, arguing that high-ethanol fuel can damage engines and is incompatible with certain boats, motorcycles and lawn mowers. READ MORE
Fortunately, Unfortunately: The Spring Saga of American Ethanol (Biofuels Digest)
As Trump seeks ethanol deal, oil industry resists (Houston Chronicle)
With flood of EPA waiEvers, refineries find way around ethanol mandate (Houston Chronicle)
REPORT: TRUMP SAYS E15 IS GOING TO YEAR ROUND (Brownfield Ag News)
Trump supports additional year-round ethanol access (Feedstuffs)
Trump promises to allow year-round E15 sales (E&E News)
Ethanol Industry Pleased with POTUS Support of E15 (Energy.AgWired.com)
Trump pledges support for year-round E15 sales (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
Trump: Move to 15% Ethanol: President Champions Year-Round E15 Sales as Perdue Tells Committee EPA Actions Hurt Farmers (DTN The Progressive Farmer)
Senators Turning Up RFS Heat — Grassley Points to Ethanol Conflict in Trump Administration (DTN The Progressive Farmer)
WEHRUM TO RFA: WE’RE WORKING ON E15 (Politico’s Morning Energy)
Excerpt from Politico’s Morning Energy: EPA Assistant Administrator for Air Bill Wehrum told a meeting of the Renewable Fuels Association that the agency is working on a proposed rule for a waiver for gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, according to one attendee. President Donald Trump last week announced plans for E15 sales. However, EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said the agency had not decided on its next steps. “There is still not consensus on the regulatory path forward on the E15 RVP waiver and related issues, despite what might have been said at this particular meeting,” she told ME. RFA declined to comment, saying the meeting was off the record. READ MORE
Excerpt from The Washington Post: “Is it the Administration’s position that companies making billions of dollars in profits are experiencing hardship?” Grassley and four other senators from Midwestern states asked in an angry letter released early Thursday evening. They accused EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and oil companies of being engaged in “another backdoor attempt … to destroy the Renewable Fuel Standard and circumvent congressional intent,” they wrote.
Energy Department studies suggest that the threat to automobiles is overblown. READ MORE