There's concern about what the government shutdown will mean for year-round E15. Right now, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the organization is unable to work on the rule due to the shutdown. During his confirmation hearing last week, Wheeler said the EPA originally planned to roll out the E15 proposal next month, but he said it may be slightly delayed due to the shutdown. He says he's still pushing to get it done before the summer driving season.
Jon Doggett with the National Corn Growers Association says there are other things at play as well. "The other thing that doesn't help is that we have shrunk the federal government workforce significantly, and particularly in places like EPA and agriculture," Doggett says. "There are 40% fewer EPA employees today than there was 10 years ago, so that means that when we lay things on them, seed traits that need to be approved, ethanol issues that need to be resolved, those things are being done by fewer and fewer people, and then when our government is not functioning and we have the shutdown, that's going to delay it."
Doggett says things are going to have to move a whole lot faster to get E15 approved in time.