Trump ‘very close’ to allowing higher ethanol content in gasoline

Trump ‘very close’ to allowing higher ethanol content in gasoline

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE said Thursday that his administration is “very close” to implementing a policy that would allow higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline during certain months.

The ethanol industry has long pushed for a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would allow fuel stations to sell gasoline with 15 percent ethanol during the summer months. Currently, EPA prohibits such sales in warm months due to concerns about air pollution.

“I’m very close, I have to tell you, to pulling off something that you’ve been looking forward to for many years, and that’s the 12-month E15 waiver. Very close to doing that. It’s a very complex process.,” he said Thursday during an agriculture event in Iowa.

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“I stuck with ethanol, most of the other candidates weren’t there,” Trump continued, referring to his commitment throughout the 2016 presidential campaign to ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Former EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE had planned to allow E15 sales year-round as part of a deal between oil and corn interests to change how the administration enforces the federal mandate to blend ethanol into gasoline.

But that deal fell apart in recent months amid corn-state opposition to allowing ethanol exports to count toward the federal mandate, effectively reducing the mandate.

Current acting EPA head Andrew Wheeler told reporters earlier this week that he is working toward a new deal between the different factions that could include the E15 policy.

“That was part of that broader ethanol package that kind of fell apart so at this point we're not going to implement any section that package,” Wheeler said Tuesday of the previous attempts at the policy.

“I’m talking to the ethanol people, I’m talking to the oil people, all the stakeholders, to see if we can get a new package to move forward.”