With Biden visiting a central Iowa ethanol plant, producers hope he’ll suspend summer E15 sales ban

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, April 11, 2022

President Joe Biden is expected to announce in a Tuesday visit to central Iowa that his administration will suspend a ban on summer sales of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol.

The White House said Biden will speak Tuesday at a Poet ethanol plant in Menlo, a town of less than 400 people 50 miles west of Des Moines. Iowa is the nation’s producer of renewable fuel and the corn used to make it.

Iowa and other corn belt elected officials, both Republicans and Democrats, as well as farm groups and biofuel producers, have pressed the Biden to use his emergency powers to allow summer use of the blend, called E15, to help lower consumer prices at the pump.

“It’s almost inconceivable that the president would come to Iowa, come to an ethanol plant and not make an announcement” allowing summer sales of gasoline of E15, Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said Monday.

“The silence will be deafening if there is no announcement” Tuesday, Shaw said.

The White House has said only that Biden will discuss his economic agenda, actions he is taking to lower costs for working families and the rural impact of the federal infrastructure law.

“We welcome Mr. President to the heartland and look forward to the opportunity to discuss how American-made biofuels are an affordable, sustainable solution to immediately help lower fuel prices, decarbonize the transportation sector, and bolster the rural economy,” Poet said in a statement.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based company said in an email over the weekend it anticipated Biden would announce an emergency waiver allowing year-round E15 sales, a move that would save Americans up to 70 cents a gallon over gasoline without ethanol.

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