Andrew Wheeler, Acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, says his agency can expand E15 sales to year-round without Congressional approval.
Wheeler also said last week that the oil industry needs to drop its lawsuit threat against the move. Last week, President Trump said he was directing the EPA to lift the ban on summertime sales of E15, a move designed to help farmers struggling with low commodity prices. An Agriculture Dot Com article says the oil industry calls the move a violation of the nation’s biofuel law and threatened a lawsuit to block the move. “We do have the authority to move forward on E15,” Wheeler says. “I’d hope the oil industry would join us in helping make U.S. biofuel policy function better for the American public, rather than take it to court.”
The oil industry opposes lifting the ban on year-round ethanol because the move would cut into its share of the fuel market. The EPA is already moving ahead on the idea. A filing with the Office of Management and Budget says the agency will release a draft on E15 by February of 2019 and will conclude deliberations by May.
The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which represents oil refiners, says the industry will challenge the final proposal in court.