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Senate Considers Higher Ethanol; Trump on Cuba

**Senate lawmakers are considering the sale of higher blends of ethanol year-round, a move both praised and opposed by parties in the renewable fuels argument.

The legislation being examined by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act which would allow the sale of gas with higher blends of ethanol during the summer by amending the Clean Air Act.

Currently, legal language caps the Reid vapor pressure waiver at levels allowing the sale of 10 percent ethanol, which is most of the gas purchased in the U.S.

**Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue doesn’t expect a deputy secretary or undersecretaries to be in place at the Ag Department before September.

Perdue says the White House has given six names to the FBI and Office of Government Ethics for clearance, but all the candidates are still waiting.

Testifying before the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee, Perdue expressed frustration with what he said were delays at both agencies. The names won’t be formally submitted to the Senate for confirmation until they are cleared.

**Farmers have been pushing for years to get better access to Cuba’s import market and concern is rising that President Trump may push the two countries further apart.

Expected in Miami this week, Trump may announce plans to roll back Obama administration moves to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Cuba, which would be a blow to farmers wanting the exact opposite.

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