Oil industry, green groups join to oppose Trump's ethanol plan

October 10, 2018

President Trump is creating strange bedfellows with his proposal to expand ethanol sales, with some environmental groups and the oil industry opposing the new rule.

The groups have different reasons for pushing back against Trump’s plan to remove a key barrier to selling gasoline with 15 percent ethanol (E15), but both say it’s a bad policy and are contemplating suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if it is finalized.

Trump on Tuesday directed the EPA to craft a regulation that would allow for sales of E15 year-round. It’s currently prohibited during the summer months due to air pollution concerns.

Oil companies and green groups say Trump’s proposal is a politically motivated move designed to shore up support for Republicans ahead of the November midterm elections. Farmers are hurting as a result of Trump’s trade policies, which have prompted foreign tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods.

“Ethanol blended in gasoline does produce more pollutants that lead to smog than gasoline alone,” David DeGennaro, agricultural policy specialist with the National Wildlife Federation, told The Hill. “So by increasing the amount from 10 percent to 15 percent, that breaks those limits that are in the Clean Air Act and could potentially lead to more ozone formation.”

The oil industry, however, has a different concern. They’re worried that the change would reduce the incentive for the ethanol and corn industries to negotiate major reforms to the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal policy that requires fuel refiners to blend specified amounts of ethanol into gasoline...

Read entire article at The Hill

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