WASHINGTON—The Biden administration plans to temporarily allow high-ethanol content gasoline to be sold in the hot summer months in a bid to tame high fuel prices at the pump, according to senior administration officials.
The decision will allow gasoline with 15% ethanol to be sold between June 1 and Sept. 15. Normally only a 10% ethanol blend can be sold during that time period to reduce smog caused by the 15% blend’s higher volatility.
Allowing fuels with a higher ethanol content will lessen reliance on oil and give drivers more options, senior administration officials said, adding that it could save drivers 10 cents a gallon off current prices.
Oil-industry officials have questioned whether such moves would lower prices. Higher ethanol blending can sometimes raise prices on refiners. Corn prices, like oil, have also seen sharp increases this year because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.