HomeFutures and CommoditiesExclusive: Biden to greenlight E15 gasoline expansion from 2025, sources reveal.

Exclusive: Biden to greenlight E15 gasoline expansion from 2025, sources reveal.

White House to Approve E15 Gasoline Expansion Starting in 2025

Midwest Governors Request Year-Round Sales of Higher Ethanol Blends

The White House is set to approve a request from a group of Midwest governors to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol. However, the start date will be pushed into next year, according to sources familiar with discussions.

Biofuel Industry’s Bittersweet Response to the Decision

The biofuel industry, which aims to expand sales of corn-based ethanol, may be frustrated by the 2025 start date. The one-year delay could potentially put off any localized price spikes and supply issues until after the U.S. election, the sources said.

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Administration’s Plan for E15 Sales

The plan involves granting a 2022 request from the governors of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin to allow year-round sales of E15, or gasoline with 15% ethanol, starting next year. In the meantime, the EPA could issue a temporary waiver enabling such sales as needed.

Impact on Battleground States and Environmental Concerns

Wisconsin and Minnesota are battleground states in this year’s presidential contest in November. Inflation and the economy are key vulnerabilities for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. The U.S. government restricts sales of E15 gasoline in summer months due to environmental concerns over smog.

Expected Decision Timeline and Response from EPA

The administration is expected to issue a decision by late March. The EPA declined to comment for this article, as the rule is still in an interagency review process. The EPA had sent a final rule on the proposal to the White House in December with an effective date of April 28, 2024. The new timeline would push the effective date to 2025, the sources said.

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Industry’s Position on E15 Sales

For years, the ethanol industry has pushed to lift the restrictions on E15 sales nationwide, arguing that the environmental impacts have been overstated. However, oil refiners including HF Sinclair Corp and Phillips 66 have warned that a patchwork approach to approving E15 sales would complicate fuel supply logistics and raise the risk of spot shortages. Groups say they would prefer a nationwide legislative fix to allow for expanded E15 sales, versus the regional approach.

The decision will likely have significant implications for the biofuel and oil industries, as well as for the 2024 U.S. presidential election. The White House’s approval of the E15 gasoline expansion starting in 2025 reflects the ongoing debate over environmental concerns, fuel supply logistics, and the political landscape.

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