NEW YORK, - US.President Donald Trump will seek to lift a federal ban on summer sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline on Tuesday, a senior White House official said, delivering on a move long-sought by anxious Midwest farmers ahead of November's elections.
The move will be coupled with restrictions on biofuel credit trading sought by merchant refiners like Valero Energy Corp and PBF Energy Inc. Those rules would be aimed at retailers and oil majors accused by merchant refiners of driving up cost of complying with biofuels blending laws.
The US Environmental Protection Agency currently prohibits summer sales of gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, or E15, due to smog concerns.
Because ethanol is cheaper than gasoline, the administration hopes it will bring down retail prices, which currently average $2.91 a gallon, more than 40 cents higher than this time a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.
The announcement will mark the end of a months-long effort by the White House to bring rival corn and oil industries together over reforms to boost ethanol demand while alleviating compliance costs for refiners.