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USDA and EPA Disagree Over Whether Year-Round E15 Rule Will Be Finished by June


On February 27 at a House Agriculture Committee hearing, Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke to lawmakers about the state of farming and the economy. In response to a question from Rep. Don Baker (R-NE) regarding rules that would allow year-round sales of E15, Secretary Perdue said, “Unfortunately, those rules probably will not be out for the driving season,” later adding, “Had the shutdown not occurred I think we’d been able to see the E15 rules before driving season, now it won’t happen.” However, he said that the USDA is pushing EPA to announce a policy of “discretionary enforcement” for fuel retailers who would like to sell E15 during the summer months.

However, shortly after Perdue made those comments, EPA responded saying that they are “planning on releasing its RVP/RIN market reform proposal in March and working expeditiously to propose and finalize the rule consistent with the President’s direction before the start of the summer driving season.” Later in the day, newly confirmed EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler disputed the comments made earlier in the day by Secretary Perdue, saying, “That is not a fact. We are working hard to get it done before summer driving season."

Publication of EPA’s proposed rule to permit year-round sales of E15 and impose new biofuel credit trading limits is expected soon.

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