USDA’s Vilsack confident in E15 gasoline expansion for 2025

Source: By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2024

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday he was confident that expanded sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol would be available across the country in 2025.

He added that, until then, the administration would likely issue temporary waivers this summer to enable such sales as needed.

Reuters reported earlier on Tuesday according to anonymous sources that the administration by late March will approve a request from a group of Midwest governors to allow year-round sales of E15, or gasoline with 15% ethanol, but will push the start date into next year.
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In 2022, the states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin asked the administration to allow year-round sales of E15 in those states.

On Tuesday, Vilsack also spoke on an anticipated decision on guidance around new U.S. tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel.

Vilsack said he was confident the incentives would include room for climate-smart agricultural practices, making it easier for products grown on farms to be used as feedstock for the lower-carbon aviation fuel.

“We have to make sure that the model recognizes and incorporates the various practices that farmers are engaged in,” Vilsack said at the National Ethanol Conference in San Diego.
Reuters reported last week that, according to sources, the Biden administration is poised to announce an adjustment to its scientific modeling for ethanol that will show the corn-based fuel to be less effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions than previously estimated.

The adjustments would make it more difficult for ethanol producers to take part in the lucrative new U.S. tax credits for SAF, seen as crucial to the industry’s growth, the sources said.

It will still leave them a pathway to the subsidies if they can partner with corn growers that use sustainable farming practices, Reuters reported.

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Reporting by Stephanie Kelly Editing by Chris Reese and Chizu Nomiyama

A New-York-based correspondent covering the U.S. crude market and member of the energy team since 2018 covering the oil and fuel markets as well as federal policy around renewable fuels.