EPA warns that U.S. government shutdown delaying E15 gasoline proposal: sources

FILE PHOTO: An empty podium awaits the arrival of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to address staff at EPA headquarters in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Ting Shen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned at least two lawmakers that the federal government shutdown has delayed the agency’s work on a rule allowing summer sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline, but that the plan could still be completed before the driving season, two sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.

President Donald Trump pledged to lift the summer ban on sales of so-called E15 gasoline in the run-up to the mid-term elections, in a much-needed boost to an ethanol industry upended by trade wars and weak demand growth at home.

The Trump administration hoped to have the rule published by February and approved by June, but the EPA recently told the lawmakers that the timeline will be delayed due to the government shutdown, said the sources, who spoke to Reuters on Tuesday and over the weekend.

Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Chris Prentice; Editing by Leslie Adler

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