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Trump Gives Green Light to Ethanol


Published: Friday, October 12, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP)—The Trump administration is moving to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, a boon for Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater sales of the corn-based fuel.

During a trip to Iowa on Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that he is lifting a federal ban on summer sales of high-ethanol blends.

The long-expected announcement is something of a reward to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman led a contentious but successful fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The veteran Republican lawmaker is the Senate's leading ethanol proponent and sharply criticized the Trump administration's proposed rollback in ethanol volumes earlier this year.

At that time Grassley threatened to call for the resignation of the Environmental Protection Agency's chief, Scott Pruitt, if Pruitt did not work to fulfill the federal ethanol mandate. Pruitt later stepped down amid a host of ethics investigations.

A senior administration official said Monday that the EPA will publish a rule in coming days to allow high-ethanol blends as part of a package of proposed changes to the ethanol mandate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of Trump's announcement.

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