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EPA to allow sale of ethanol blend gasoline this summer to combat high prices

President Biden is set to announce new steps to combat elevated gas prices, including permitting the sale of E15 gasoline this summer. 

The White House said Tuesday Biden plans to announce the EPA will allow the sale of E15 gasoline, which uses a 15 percent ethanol blend, over the summer. Normally, this 15 percent mix is banned from being sold from June 1 through September 15, according to CBS News

But the White House says the EPA will issue an emergency waiver allowing its sale in response to high gas prices amid the war in Ukraine. 

"An emergency waiver can help increase fuel supplies, give consumers more choice to get lower prices, and provide savings to many families," the White House 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." 

Biden has repeatedly blamed the current high level of gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin, referring to "Putin's price hike," and a recent poll found more Americans blame Putin than Biden. In March, Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying this would not be "without cost" but that "defending freedom is gonna cost."

Last month, the White House said the U.S. would release one million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve a day. "The scale of this release is unprecedented," the White House said at the time. 

The White House said Tuesday the EPA will issue its emergency waiver "closer to" June 1 and is also considering "additional action to facilitate the use of E15 year-round."