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U.S. considers adding more ethanol to gasoline to lower pump price -sources -Breaking


© Reuters. The gasoline dripping from a nozzle that is held by a mechanic at a gas station in Somerville Massachusetts (USA), March 7, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder


By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The Biden administration may temporarily lift restrictions on the summer sale of higher-ethanol gasoline blends in order to reduce fuel prices for U.S. customers. Three sources who are familiar with this matter informed Reuters.

This review is being done by President Joe Biden to help control rising pump prices. They reached a new record in February after Russia invaded Ukraine. To punish Russia for its invasion, the United States and other countries that are consumers have stopped imports from Russia.

Because of its cheaper price than regular gasoline straight, ethanol could be added to gasoline blends.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, they could not comment about whether the move was being considered but stated that the agency was looking into a number of alternatives across administrations in order to reduce the impact on American consumers from Russia’s actions.

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E15’s industry has been fighting to boost sales. E15 can contain up to 15% of ethanol, as opposed to the usual 10% in gasoline.

E15 has been banned from summer vehicles due to concerns it could cause smog. But, studies have shown that E15 may be more effective than 10% fuels year round.

An bipartisan coalition of U.S. Farm Belt legislators has been pressing the White House for the lifting of the summertime ban.

Senators from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, and Illinois Dick Durbin, both from the largest corn-producing states, asked Biden to allow E15 sales over 2022. They argued that the increased ethanol will bring lower prices to the consumers.

However, this move has the potential of raising food prices because ethanol is made with corn. Biden’s administration had previously studied whether it was possible to waive mandates that biofuels must be mixed into national fuel mixes. This could offset an increase in food ingredient prices like soy oil and corn syrup.

Democrats are facing a serious threat from inflation in the November mid-term elections.

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