EPA Ethanol Plan

A proposal by the EPA could make Gasoline with higher blends of ethanol be sold year-round in Illinois and Missouri.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 11:43 PM CST
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Perryville, Mo. (KFVS) - According to the Associated Press, gasoline with higher blends of ethanol could be sold year-round in eight Midwestern states beginning in 2024 under a rule proposed Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The proposed rule is a victory for the biofuels industry, which for years has pushed to allow sales of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol during the summer, which hasn’t been allowed because of concerns that it would worsen smog during hot weather. The industry and members of Congress welcomed the EPA’s proposal, which had been requested by governors in the eight states. But they questioned why the new rules couldn’t begin this summer. Under the proposal, the higher blends could be sold during the summer in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Most gasoline sold in the U.S. is now blended with 10% ethanol, which is allowed throughout the year.”

EPA officials say corn farmers in the mid-west grow a majority of the nation’s crop and nearly 40% is used to produce ethanol. But under a proposal by the EPA, a new level of 15% ethanol could take effect as soon as 2024, which could lead to a higher demand of corn.

Brian Koenig, the president of Perry County Farm Bureau, says the next steps of other farmers will be to rely on the economy.

”If it comes to play and more is used, of course we’ll grow more corn, if that’s where the money takes us, if soy beans are still more profitable as of right now they are, cause of all the inputs to grow corn, if it don’t raise the corn price, to justify switching we won’t do it of course,” said Koenig.

Environmentalists argue that it’s an ecological and climate detriment, saying there will be more smog or pollution if this proposal is passed.

According to the EPA, this proposal is a way to diversify the nation’s energy mix. Koenig also says he wants to see this proposal go into effect.

”There’s differing opinions but I think we need to let the science rule on those things and just go from there, and I really don’t see how we can really hurt our environment, burning cleaner fuel,” said Koenig.

EPA officials say a hearing on the proposed rule will take place in late March or early April.