The EPA is changing its policy on the E-15 fuel blend. Soon, it will be sold 365 days a year. The president is pushing to remove the ban during the summer months, and as our Malique Rankin reports, this change is good news for North Dakota.

Jeff Zueger: “We anticipate it will increase our E85 sales from our 2 plants.”

Jeff Zueger is the CEO of two of North Dakota’s 5 ethanol plants– Blue Flint and Dakota Spirit Ag Energy.
He says they consume about 50 million bushels of corn a year. 

Jeff Zueger: “…We process that into almost 150 million gallons of ethanol and about 400 thousand tons of feed products. We have a pretty good impact on the local and regional economy.”

President Trump has directed the environmental protection agency to consider changing its policy surrounding E15, allowing it to be sold year-round. Paul Thomas, a corn farmer in Velva says this is good news for him.

Paul Thomas:  “..What it will do it will help build more demand for ethanol thus creating more demand for our corn that we’re growing”. 

Jeff Zueger: “So North Dakota’s economy, the number one driver is agriculture. When we use corn in ethanol production, we have a significantly positive impact, both to the local communities that we serve, and to the entire state..”

Thomas says having this gasoline option could prove a good move for the environment.

Paul Thomas: “It’s going to have less emissions and these’s less harm to the ozone from the emissions that come from ethanol versus gasoline” 

Just over one percent of the nation’s gas stations sell E15 now.. which could be changing very soon.

Ethanol now accounts for about 10 percent of U.S. gasoline usage, up from less than one-tenth of 1 percent in 1993. President Trump says he will continue to uphold his commitment to ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard program to give consumers more choice.