(CNSNews.com) - President Joe Biden plans to visit a bioethanol production plant outside Des Moines, Iowa this afternoon, where he will explain how turning corn crops into fuel will "lower costs for working families."
On a day when the Biden administration announced that the price of gasoline has increased 48 percent from March 2021 to March 2022, Biden will discuss his plan to lower what he continues to call "Putin's price hike."
Ahead of Biden's visit, the White House issued a "fact sheet" on Biden's plan to expand the use of "homegrown biofuels."
"The President will announce today that the EPA Administrator is planning to allow E15 gasoline -- gasoline that uses a 15 percent ethanol blend -- to be sold this summer," the fact sheet said.
"At current prices, E15 can save a family 10 cents per gallon of gas on average, and many stores sell E15 at an even greater discount."
Normally, E15 gasoline blends are not available in the warm summer months because the evaporate contributes to ground-level smog.
So to make E15 available in the summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to issue a national, emergency waiver from June through September, the fact sheet said.
"An emergency waiver can help increase fuel supplies, give consumers more choice to get lower prices, and provide savings to many families,” the fact sheet said. “At current prices, E15 can save a family 10 cents per gallon of gas on average, and many stores sell E15 at an even greater discount.
"For working families -- families eager to travel and visit their loved ones -- that will add up to real savings.
“Allowing higher levels of blending will also reduce our dependency on foreign fuels as we rely more heavily on home-grown biofuels. This will help us bridge towards real energy independence," the White House claimed.
‘Burning more food for fuel’
Critics say expanding domestic fossil fuel production would be a better option.
Steve Milloy, the founder of JunkScience.com, issued a statement saying, "Leave it to Joe Biden to encourage the burning of more food for fuel as a global food crisis approaches due to the war in Ukraine.
"The war and its sanctions will reduce grain exports from Ukraine and Russia and Russian exports of much needed fertilizer. Instead of unleashing the American energy industry to lower gas prices and using American corn to help make up for global grain shortages, Biden’s policy of burning more food for fuel will keep gas prices high and reduce food supplies."
Milloy also noted that ethanol is less efficient than gasoline, reduces gas mileage and so costs consumers more than conventional gasoline. "We know Joe Biden will do anything to avoid unleashing the US energy industry, but this move inexcusably risks global food supplies.”
Likewise, James Taylor, the president of The Heartland Institute, wrote: "This decision by Joe Biden's EPA is doubling down on polluted air and global hunger. EPA is supposed to protect us from harmful pollution, not encourage it.
"At the same time, burning food for fuel makes no sense at all when the Biden administration and others warn of widespread upcoming food shortages as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It's almost as if the Biden administration is deliberately calculating how to make food-price inflation worse."
And Myron Ebell, an energy/environment director with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) wrote: "Turning more food into fuel at a time of looming global food shortages is as reprehensible as it is stupid.
“The Biden administration should suspend the ethanol mandate entirely and release the several million acres of prime farmland locked up in the Conservation Reserve Program immediately so that farmers can plant additional grain crops this spring."
The White House said the EPA, in implementing the emergency fuel waiver, “will work with states across the country to ensure there are no significant air quality impacts through the summer driving season.”