By Humeyra Pamuk and Jarrett Renshaw
WASHNGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s hyping of a plan to boost ethanol demand drew cheers at an Iowa rally on Tuesday, but the oil refining industry has promised a lawsuit to block the move, so victory for Midwest farmers is far from certain.
Trump on Tuesday indicated that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should allow for a waiver for higher-ethanol gasoline, known as E15, to be sold all year, which has been prohibited due to smog concerns. He did not mention the threatened lawsuit and was not asked about it.
The hitch, according to industry experts as well as legal precedent, is that Trump needs an act of Congress to change the rule. New Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in 2012 that EPA cannot change the rule unless congress changes the law, and the refining industry has promised to sue if the agency tries.