Biden Will Lift Ban On Ethanol Sales

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(WABNEWS) — United States President Joe Biden will announce Tuesday new steps his administration is taking to address rising gas prices across the country. These measures include emergency actions to expand biofuel salesoffsetting rising energy prices amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden is expected to announce that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue an emergency waiver that will allow the year-round sale of E15 gasoline, which contains a 15% ethanol blend. The announcement will be made on a trip to Menlo, Iowa, where will visit POET Bioprocessinga biofuel plant that specializes in creating bioethanol.

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The sale of E15 gasoline is generally prohibited from June to mid-September due to air quality concerns. Under the administration of former President Donald Trump, the EPA issued an order that allowed permanent sales of the biofuel blend year-round in 2019, but the order was overturned last year by the US Circuit Court of Appeals.

Biden’s ada senior administration official said, “is different from” his predecessor’s efforts to expand ethanol sales in that “it is based on the current circumstance, which is a fuel supply emergency.”

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According to White House estimates, E15 sales could save consumers 10 cents a gallon on average, while reducing reliance on foreign fuels. As part of Tuesday’s announcement, the EPA will also take steps to facilitate the expanded use of biofuel, including outreach to states and changes to the labeling of E15 fuel pumps at gas stations across the country.

During Monday’s press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted that suspending the ban on the sale of higher ethanol blend fuels in the summer was on “the menu of options” that the administration was considering “to ensure that the supply in the market meets the demand, thus lowering the price”.

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The move follows Biden’s announcement last month of a historic release of oil from US reserves, including one million barrels per day from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next six months. That is part of a “wartime bridge” to increase oil production as efforts by the United States and global oil companies kick in after the coronavirus pandemic.

“The president believes that the actions of a dictator on the other side of the world should not affect what families pay at the pump here at home,” the White House said in a fact sheet announcing the action that was shared with WABNEWS. “Today’s actions also reinforce the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of real energy independence and commitment to a long-term strategy to spur smart growth and the adoption of sustainable local fuels.”

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Still, the administration stops short of sanctioning Russian energy exports, instead pointing to “a set of actions that we believe have had a severe impact on the Russian economy.”

“Also in the United States, through action by the president and with bipartisan support, we banned all energy imports from Russia to the United States. We understand that other countries are in a different position. Obviously we are in a strong position, as an exporter net energy, to do that, although it had real effects and price impacts that the president has now been working to mitigate,” the official told reporters on Monday.

The official continued: “But we have taken a number of strong steps when it comes to the effects on the Russian economy, and we are going to continue to work with our partners and allies, as we have, to continue to build on that.”

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