‘Won’t solve problems’ Biden expands availability of ethanol as inflation hits 40year high

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The US President made the announcement during a trip to an Iowa ethanol plant and is the administration’s latest attempt to cut inflation that is at a 40 year high. It is also seen as a political move going into the mid term elections in November with high inflation seen as a vote loser.

The US corn lobby is also likely to benefit from the decision as demand for corn-based ethanol is likely to increase at the expense of oil refiners.

It will also allow Americans to keep buying E15, a gasoline that uses a 15 percent ethanol blend, from June 1 to September 15.

There are only a few thousand US gasoline retailers that offer E15 at the pump and they must turn off the pumps during the summer season to comply with existing laws.

Mr Biden told the crowd in Iowa that this will change this summer if only temporarily but that it won’t solve “all our problems” as more still needs to be done to bring fuel prices down.

He said: “You’re not going to show up at your local gas station and see a bag over the pump that has the cheapest gas. You’re going to be able to keep filling E15.

“Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away.

“It’s not going to solve all our problems.”

According to Reuters, sources within the White House have said that there had been weeks of internal debate about the issue.

The summer ban on E15 was imposed over concerns it contributes to smog in hot weather, though research has shown that the 15 percent blend may not increase smog relative to the more common 10 percent blends sold year-round.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine along with Washington’s sanctions on Moscow including the ban on importing oil has pushed fuel prices up with oil selling $140 a barrel at one point.

Last month Biden announced that the United States would sell 180 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at a rate of 1 million barrels per day starting in May.

This is the biggest release from the stockpile since it was created in the 1970s and is an attempt to bring prices down.

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Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper praised the President’s decision.

He said: “We applaud President Biden and his administration for recognizing that low-cost, low-carbon ethanol should be given a fair opportunity to strengthen our energy security and reduce record-high pump prices.”

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