The government will send billions of dollars in trade war payments to farmers over the next two months or so, said President Trump in Iowa on Tuesday, with the promise of booming business with China, Japan and Mexico in the near future. “Within a year and a half, I would say, you’ll …
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.
For years, larger and larger sales of corn ethanol were almost a given. For one thing, the Renewable Fuel Standard guaranteed biofuels a share of the gasoline market, and car-happy Americans used more gasoline every year. The joyride, however, may be ending, says a University of Illinois economist.
The EPA intends to approve the year-round sale of E15 in time for the summer driving season, said administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday. In proposing an end to the ban on summertime sales, the EPA set a 45-day comment period on its proposal.
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.
The partial government shutdown is putting a kink in the Trump tariff payments to farmers and it could prevent the EPA from approving the sale of E15 by the summer, as promised by President Trump. But farm groups have made few public complaints about the shutdown, now in its third week.
Ten days ahead of the midterm elections, President Trump will tout his agricultural record to a pared-down crowd of 7,000 teenagers at the FFA national convention in Indianapolis and campaign in southern Illinois for an imperiled Republican member of the House Agriculture Committee.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin work in February to allow year-round sale of E15 and complete the regulation in May, just ahead of the usual June 1 cutoff of summer sales. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, from the top corn and ethanol state, said on Tuesday that the agency "ought to speed it up" to be sure the fuel will be available for the summer driving season.