Biden Proposes A Massive Gift To The Corn Lobby

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The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule Wednesday that would allow higher-concentration blends of ethanol to be sold year-round in eight Midwestern states, a move that would be a major win for the corn lobby, Reuters reported.

The new rules would permit the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol (commonly known as E15) year-round in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, beginning in 2024, according to the agency’s proposal. EPA regulations currently forbid the retail sale of E15 from June 1 to September 15 due to concerns that it produces more smog in warmer weather compared to 10% blends of ethanol (E10), Reuters reported. (RELATED: China Is Approving New Coal Plants At Break-Neck Speed As The Biden Admin Pushes To Shut US Generators Down)

The move is expected to boost both the biofuel industry and the Midwestern farming industry that grows a substantial amount of the corn used in ethanol, Reuters reported. Despite this, CEO Geoff Cooper of the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol lobbying group, blasted the EPA’s decision to “kick the can on implementation until 2024,” according to Bloomberg.

The administration had “more than enough time to adjust and prepare for implementation this summer,” Cooper told Bloomberg. “But instead, under pressure from the oil industry, the White House ignored a statutory deadline, sat on the proposal for months on end and slow-rolled Governors who acted in good faith to ensure consumers would have the ability to choose lower-cost E15 all year long.”

“We recognize that the initial requests made by the governors of many of the states were submitted in the spring of 2022, such that a summer of 2023 effective date may have been possible, and seek comment on such an effective date,” the EPA proposal reads. “However, we have also received numerous petitions to delay the effective date of this action to at least 2024.”

Critics of permitting year-round E15 sales in the Midwest have argued that the move could isolate the region from national fuel supply chains, as refineries and pipelines in the region shift to exclusively E15, Bloomberg reported.

“Not every refinery, pipeline and terminal serving the Midwest has the ability to seamlessly produce, transport and store a new blend of gasoline, and it could take years to permit and complete infrastructure projects to resolve this,” Patrick Kelley, senior director of fuels and vehicle policy for the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers trade group, told Reuters. The new rules could cost businesses and consumers a combined $500 million to $800 million per year, Kelley estimates.

President Joe Biden temporarily lifted the summertime ban on E15 in 2022 to combat high gas prices, Reuters reported. Emily Skor, CEO of pro-ethanol trade group Growth Ethanol, estimates that the waiver lowered gasoline prices 16 cents per gallon in 2022.

The EPA directed the Daily Caller News Foundation to the proposed rule and related press release.

The White House did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.

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