The EPA pointed to “President Trump’s promise” in ending its summertime ban on the sale of E15, a richer blend of corn ethanol into gasoline than the traditional blend of 10 percent. The oil industry, in response, hinted at a possible lawsuit.
The Renewable Fuel Standard, which guarantees biofuels such as corn ethanol a share of the gasoline market, has prompted farmers to plow under wildlife habitat and has contributed to agricultural runoff, said the National Wildlife Federation on Thursday.
Roughly 11 percent of U.S. corn ethanol was exported in 2018, a record 1.7 billion gallons worth $2.7 billion, said ethanol trade groups on Wednesday. Exports were nearly 25 percent higher than the previous record of 1.4 billion gallons, set in the preceding year, said the groups.
The EPA says it will approve sale of E15 — which contains 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline — before the start of the summer driving season, as promised by President Trump. To make sure the agency meets its goal, Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday the EPA should propose a stripped-down regulation devoted solely to the corn-based biofuel.
What will it take to feed 9.7 billion in 2050 and prevent catastrophic climate change? The short answer: a lot of work. If today's system of food production and consumption continues unimpeded, the results will be disastrous for the climate, land use, biodiversity, equity and food access, according to a report produced Wednesday by the World Resources Institute and other institutions.
On Thursday, the EPA refused to disclose to senators the names of oil companies that received “hardship” waivers that exempt small-volume refineries from having to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard.
In late June, days before it proposed a target of 15 billion gallons for U.S. consumption of corn ethanol, the EPA was ready to force refiners to blend a larger volume of biofuels into the gasoline and diesel fuel supply, reported Reuters on Wednesday.
The Renewable Fuel Standard would be set at 19.88 billion gallons in 2019, up 3 percent from this year and all for cleaner-burning "advanced" biofuels, under a proposal unveiled by Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday.
The EPA will keep its mandate for use of corn ethanol as a gasoline additive at 15 billion gallons in 2019, while proposing higher targets for biodiesel and other advanced biofuels, said Reuters, based on two sources who were briefed on the proposal. The agency was expected to unveil within days its proposal for the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2019.
President Trump resolved two persistent questions about biofuels on Tuesday, allowing the year-round sale of higher blends of ethanol in gasoline, which will benefit corn farmers, and saying he will consider whether ethanol exports should be counted as part of the government's target for biofuels use, a step that would relieve pressure on oil refiners.