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EPA could release E15 plan without RIN limits

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering the release of its draft proposal to expand the sales of higher ethanol blends of gasoline without including measures it promised to the oil industry to restrain biofuel credit speculation, Reuters reports.

The move, according to the report, would allow the agency to lift a summertime ban on E15 gasoline in time for the driving season, but is likely to attract disapproval from the oil industry which had been requesting biofuel credit market reforms to lower costs.

E15 had been banned after concerns were raised over its contribution to smog in hot weather. President Trump announced in October that he was directing the EPA to allow year-round sales of E15.

“President Trump charged EPA with issuing a new rule on E15 RVP and RIN market reform and doing that in a timely manner remains our goal,” EPA spokesman Michael Abboud said in email comment to Reuters.

The report claims that the EPA had initially planned to combine credit trading limits into the E15 rule to curb the speculation which, the oil industry argues, increases the price of the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

“The EPA has been seriously looking at dropping the RIN reform to speed up the process on E15,” one undisclosed industry source told Reuters.

The agency is still working to release its E15 draft by the end of February.