<< Back to Driving Force, Fall 2013

 

 

 

 

LEGISLATIVE FRONT LINES

 

Target: Ethanol Fuel

 

 

Witnesses representing oil, fuel and petrochemical, livestock, automotive, food, biofuel and environmental organizations testified before a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on whether the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) should be repealed or scaled-back. The RFS mandates that an increasing amount of biofuels be blended into gasoline each year. It is the driving force behind the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to permit sales of 15% ethanol in gasoline (E15) in order to achieve the RFS mandates.

Federal Committee leaders have stated that full repeal of the RFS is unlikely but reform is a viable option. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) supports reducing the RFS mandates and banning the sale of E15. Ethanol can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers, especially in older cars. E15 can also burn hotter than E10 gasoline and cause damage to certain high-performance specialty parts.

Meanwhile, state legislatures continue to limit ethanol blends. Heeding the call of angry consumers increasingly wary of the corrosive effects of ethanol-blended gasoline, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law legislation to repeal the requirement that all gasoline offered for sale in the state contain a percentage of ethanol. Under previous law, the Florida RFS required that all gasoline sold or offered for sale by a terminal supplier, importer, blender or wholesaler in Florida contain 9%–10% ethanol, or other alternative fuel, by volume.

In Maine, SAN-supported legislation to prohibit the sale and distribution of corn-based ethanol was signed into law by Governor Paul LePage. Under the new law, 10 other states or a number of states with a collective population of 30,000,000 would have to enact a similar prohibition before the Maine law could go into effect. Earlier this year, Maine also enacted into law a bill to prohibit a person from selling gasoline that contains corn-based ethanol as an additive at a level greater than 10% by volume (E10). That law will not take effect until at least two other New England states have also enacted laws that effectively ban the sale of E15 gasoline.

For the complete list of Legislative Action Alerts, visit
semaSAN.com/Alerts.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images Courtesy Shutterstock

 

 


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