The Biden administration on Tuesday will temporarily authorizing the sale of gasoline with higher ethanol content through the summer months – in an attempt to lower the soaring gas prices.
President Biden will announce the move in Iowa hours after the release of a Labor Department report showing the cost of consumer goods – including gasoline – increased 8.5% over a 12-month period ending in March.
The national emergency waiver will be issued by the Environmental Protection Agency to lift restrictions on fuel with a 15% ethanol blend, known as E-15, from June 1 to Sept 15. Administration officials predict the move could save families about 10 cents a gallon at the pump.
During a Monday evening call with reporters, a White House official said, "This will also help us bridge towards real energy independence and implementing the emergency fuel waiver the EPA will work with states across the country to ensure there are no significant air quality impacts in the summer driving season.
"EPA is also considering additional action to facilitate the use of E15 year-round, including continued discussions with states who have expressed interest in allowing year-round use of E15."
Fuel prices were already on the rise before the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, but prices have spiked to record highs as the global gas market has been disrupted. The Biden administration has attempted to blame Russian leader Vladimir Putin and major U.S. oil companies for the spiking prices, but Americans have not been meaningfully swayed.
In the past weeks, the president has ordered the largest ever release from the country's strategic petroleum reserve and instructed oil companies to begin producing oil using wells on unused leases.