DES MOINES, Iowa-(AP Feb. 24) Drivers in eight Midwestern states will be able to fuel up with a higher blend of ethanol throughout the year under a final rule announced Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The biofuels industry and farming groups, with support of Midwest governors, sought the end of a summertime ban on sales of gasoline blended with 15% ethanol for years. The higher blend has been prohibited because of concerns it could worsen smog during warm weather.
The move reflects the importance of ethanol to agriculture. The fuel additive consumes roughly 40% of the nation’s corn crop, so higher sales of ethanol could mean greater profits for corn farmers.
The rule, which takes effect in April 2025, will apply in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Those states grow the bulk of the U.S. corn crop and are home to much of the nation’s ethanol production.
Most gasoline sold across the country is blended with 10% ethanol, though 15% blends are becoming increasingly common, especially in the Midwest. E15 summer sales still will not be allowed in most of the country during summer, though agricultural groups are pushing for a nationwide policy change.