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National & World Ag News Headlines
Administrative ends ethanol fuel ban in Midwest
USAgNet - 02/26/2024

The Biden administration has decided to lift the ban on summertime sales of E15, a higher-ethanol gasoline blend, in eight Midwestern states by 2025. This decision comes after requests from governors in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, who argued that the ban harms the economy and has minimal environmental benefits.

Ethanol, primarily made from corn, is blended with gasoline to decrease oil dependence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Concerns about its contribution to smog have maintained a ban during warmer months since 2011.

This change is expected to support the agricultural sector by increasing demand for corn and other crops used in ethanol production. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required states to demonstrate that lifting the ban would not worsen smog conditions. According to the EPA, this move might slightly decrease emissions causing smog.

The decision has been praised by figures like Senator Amy Klobuchar and the ethanol industry, though some express disappointment over the delayed implementation. Critics from the oil sector argue that this could disrupt the fuel supply chain's resilience.

The mandate for ethanol blending, established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has faced criticism over fuel prices and environmental effectiveness. This new policy aims to balance agricultural interests with environmental concerns, promising a slight shift towards more sustainable fuels.

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