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Eight Midwest States Will See Year-Round Higher Blend Ethanol
South Dakota Ag Connection - 02/27/2024

Drivers in eight Midwestern states will be able to fill up with fuel containing a higher blend of ethanol throughout the year under a final rule announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reported The Hill.

The biofuels industry and farming groups, with support of Midwest governors, sought the end of a summertime ban on sales of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol for years.

According to the Hill, the move reflects the importance of ethanol to agriculture. The fuel additive consumes roughly 40% of the nation's corn crop, so higher sales of ethanol could mean greater profits for corn farmers.

The rule, which takes effect in April 2025, will apply in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Those states grow the bulk of the U.S. corn crop and are home to much of the nation's ethanol production. The EPA said it delayed implementation of the new rule because of concerns there wasn't enough supply to meet demand this summer.

"NACS supports giving retailers the choice to sell E15 year-round. Unfortunately, EPA's decision to approve these petitions will balkanize the fuel supply chain by forcing refiners to make special 'boutique' gasoline for these eight states, which will lead to tight fuel supplies and higher costs for consumers," said Paige Anderson, director government relations at NACS.

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