Should we even be subjecting our engines and small engines to ethanol in the first place?
By Mark Moore
April 12, 2022
Suspending a federal rule barring the sale of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline during the summer months in the latest bid to reduce prices at the pump as inflation reaches new highs.
While visiting an ethanol plant in Iowa, Biden will announce an Environmental Protection Agency emergency order permitting the sale of gas using a 15% ethanol blend.
Most gasoline in the US is blended with 10% ethanol and higher blends are usually prohibited between June 1 and Sept. 15 over concerns it contributes to smog during the summer months.
The afternoon announcement will come hours after the Labor Department announced that its Consumer Price Index spiked 8.5% percent over 12 months ago, the highest increase since December 1981.
Administration officials say the higher blend will save drivers an average of 10 cents per gallon at 2,300 gas stations. But critics say the order would offer drivers already affected by high gas prices lower-grade fuel in order to boost federally subsidized ethanol producers.
“Global food crisis approaching, Joe Biden urges burning more food for fuel,” tweeted Steve Milloy of the Heartland Institute Tuesday morning. “BTW, ethanol only increases gasoline prices… less efficient and requires special blending.”
Oil industry representatives, meanwhile, accused the administration of attempting a quick fix for high gas prices without solving the fundamental issue of energy supply.
“We’re concerned that the administration is not focused on the real structural problems here and is attempting to find short-term fixes that don’t get at the heart of the issue,” Frank Macchiarola, the American Petroleum Institute’s senior vice president of policy, economics and regulatory affairs, told the Wall Street Journal.
Iowa is the country’s largest producer of corn, a key component in ethanol, and the state’s senior senator expressed his support for the move on Tuesday.
“Homegrown Iowa biofuels provide a quick and clean solution for lowering prices at the pump and bolstering production would help us become energy independent once again,″ GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a statement.
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