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EPA Planning to Boost Ethanol Mix in Gasoline
USAgNet - 03/13/2019

President Trump on Tuesday advanced a plan that would expand the use of ethanol in gasoline across the U.S., a move pushed by corn farmers but expected to draw ire from the oil and gas industry.

According to the Hill, the latest step pushes forward a proposal that would allow the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. Previously, E15 was restricted under air pollution requirements between June 1 and Sept. 15, as science shows burning ethanol in warmer temperature leads to heightened ground-level ozone pollution and smog. The new plan will effectively lift those sales barriers.

Also under the plan, Trump will make it harder for refiners to trade credits for biofuel use known as renewable identification numbers (RINs).

Currently, refiners and importers of natural gas must blend their fuels with ethanol before sale or purchase RINs sold on the market.

The administration's RIN reform would include requiring public disclosure of RIN, limit the length of time that nonrefineries or importers can hold a RIN and improve compliance obligations on a more frequent basis. The White House last October directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to initiate a rulemaking to expand waivers for E15 and change way RINs were traded on the market, the Hill reports. Tuesday's proposed rule very closely resembles the plan put forth by Trump.

The EPA on Tuesday said it will be looking for public comment on the rule and will hold a public hearing March 29.'

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