President Donald Trump has announced plans to lift summer restrictions on the sale of E15 fuel at gas stations in the US.
On 10 October, at a political rally in Iowa, Trump announced his administration would allow year-round sales of gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) legislation blocks the sale of E15 from 1 June to 15 September in areas where smog is a problem, in a bid to limit air pollution. According to ethanol trade association Growth Energy, this restriction affects fuel retailers throughout ‘most of the country’.
“This announcement is great news for farmers, biofuel workers, retailers and consumers everywhere who want to enjoy cleaner, more affordable options at the fuel pump,” said Growth Energy’s CEO, Emily Skor.
“This is a critical step toward giving American motorists higher-octane options at a lower cost all year long.”
Skor reasoned that the increase in E15 fuel could prove beneficial to agricultural and rural areas in the US.
“Nationwide E15 sales promise to drive demand for two billion bushels of American corn and help restore growth in rural communities hit hardest by the downturn in farm income,” Skor explained.
“America’s farmers and rural workers are eager to see the President’s agenda for rural growth succeed, and today was a critical part of completing that mission.”
Meanwhile Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes Americas, a biotechnology company working extensively with the biofuels sector, highlighted benefits the development could have beyond Iowa.
“Once implemented, this change will also unleash innovation and investment in new clean fuel technologies and agriculture products that propel the US toward a more sustainable future,” Monroe said.
“We look forward to working with the administration to help make the transition before the 2019 summer driving season.”