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US EPA to allow summer sales of gasoline with higher blend of ethanol

(Reuters) - U.S. regulators are poised to allow summer sales of gasoline with a higher blend of ethanol, sources told Reuters, adding that an emergency waiver would be issued later on Friday.

The move would be aimed at keeping down consumer pump prices during the high-demand summer driving season by boosting the overall volume of available fuel and reflects the Biden administration's ongoing worry about energy costs.

The waiver would temporarily exempt the 15% ethanol fuel blend from anti-smog regulations that effectively block sales from June 1 to Sept. 15 throughout much of the United States.

Adding ethanol to gasoline is known to increase smog pollution in hot weather, but research has shown little difference between E15 and the more-widely available E10 blends.

The Biden administration issued a similar waiver last year as part of a raft of measures to help address historically high gasoline prices.

The U.S. biofuels and corn lobby has pushed hard for an expansion of E15 sales, arguing that ethanol sales help farmers.

The oil refining industry has resisted expanded ethanol sales, which is costly to blend and competes with petroleum fuels for space in gas tanks.

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