Oil industry foes are preparing to go to court to fight the Environmental Protection Agency regulation issued Friday that allows year-round sales of higher-ethanol E15 gasoline nationwide. The agency’s final rule offers ethanol producers and corn farmers the promise of greater market access and demand—but the coming legal battle will be the true test of that potential. The regulation fulfills President Donald Trump’s promise to unleash ethanol sales and is a potent show of support to Midwestern farmers who are suffering from Chinese tariffs on soybeans, flooding that destroyed stockpiled grain and a deluge of rain that has delayed plantings. With some 37% of America’s corn production going to ethanol mills, any regulatory move lifting demand for the fuel could buttress farmers who helped propel Trump to the White House. Iowa Republican leaders and biofuel industry boosters will celebrate the shift with EPA’s Region 7 administrator, during an event at Elite Octane LLC’s dry mill ethanol plant in Atlantic, Iowa later Friday. The EPA rule waives E15 gasoline containing 15% ethanol from vapor pressure requirements that have blocked sales from June 1 to September 15 in areas where smog is a problem, said Bill Wehrum, the assistant administrator for the… Read full this story
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