© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign advertising E15, a gasoline with 15 percent of ethanol, is seen at a gas station in Clive, Iowa, United States, May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young
By Stephanie Kelly
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. governors from eight Midwest states requested on Thursday that the Biden administration apply rules that would allow for gasoline with a higher ethanol blend to be sold year-round in their states.
Governors from Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota said in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency that allowing the blend, known as E15, year-round would help lower gasoline prices, which have risen to over $4 per barrel after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden unveiled plans to allow summertimes sales of E15, which uses a 15% ethanol blend. A summertime ban on E15 was imposed over concerns it contributes to smog in hot weather, though research has shown that the 15% blend may not increase smog relative to the more common E10 sold year-round.
Biofuel advocates, however, want a more permanent action that allows for year-round sales of E15. Expanded sales of the blend would likely broaden demand for corn-based ethanol.
Under the Clean Air Act, governors can ask the EPA to effectively put E15 and E10 on equal footing with regard to volatility limitations. The Midwest governors told the EPA on Thursday that they are pursuing this route for year-round E15, and are submitting the necessary documentation.