Trump administration pushes year-round E15

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- President Donald Trump wants to make gas with 15 percent of the corn-based ethanol available all year.

Gasoline pump nozzle / vehicle fuels, Photo Date: 8/24/2007 / Pixabay / MGN

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "This is great news obviously for America, for American energy independence, for consumer choice, and certainly good for agriculture and our corn farmers out there."

Federal law bans E15 for four summer months over concerns it could dirty the air.

Perdue and other ethanol advocates dispute that.

Perdue speculated on how the move could impact corn farmers and said, "We could be up to two-billion more bushels of corn out there because the market will grow."

Sabrina Fang a spokesperson with the American Petroleum Institute says the Trump administration is making the wrong decision.

She said people could mistakenly pump E15 into an older engine that isn't build to handle it.

Beyond that, she says the administration may not have the legal authority to expand E15 rules.

Fang said, "Previous EPAs have said they don't have the authority to waive E15. So, as industry, we plan to aggressively pursue all legal options."

We asked Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler about the potential legal hurdles, and he said the petroleum industry is wrong.

Wheeler said, "We're going to move forward to make sure this is enacted so that we provide the certainty for the American farmers."

Despite the expected legal challenges, the administration hope to have new rules in place by next summer.