In a tweet and a phone call to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, posted by Ernst on Twitter, President Donald Trump announced his administration will allow E15 to be sold in existing E10 infrastructure.
"Subject only to State approval, our important Ethanol Industry will be allowed to use the 10% Pumps for the 15% BLEND. Thank you! @SenJoniErnst @ChuckGrassley @SenatorFischer @SenJohnThune @SenatorRounds @KimReynoldsIA @EPAAWheeler @SecretarySonny @govkristinoem," Trump tweeted on Saturday morning.
The announcement was followed by a response on Twitter from Growth Energy: "Welcome news for the rural economy and consumers nationwide! This move would accelerate the momentum to expanded access to higher blends of #ethanol following E15 year-round."
Two years ago, the Trump administration directed EPA to finalize a rule allowing year-round E15 sales. Trump later held a rally at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy's ethanol plant in Council Bluffs to celebrate the move.
Since finalizing the E15 rule, sales of the 15% ethanol blend have expanded and EPA faces court challenges from the oil industry.
In July, Ernst asked EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to take actions to expand the market for E15 based on promises made by the Trump administration, in a letter sent to Wheeler.
In that letter, Ernst told Wheeler the administration promised to expand the E15 market.
Ernst asked Wheeler during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works earlier this year, when the agency was on taking E15 actions.
One of those promises was to complete a rulemaking to expedite E15 sales by using existing infrastructure.
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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