Iowa Bill to Restrict Consumer Information on Ethanol Content in Gasoline Dead for the Year; Could Reemerge Next Year

SAN-opposed legislation in Iowa to change labeling requirements on gas pumps across the state to only require labeling for unblended gasoline and E85 was successfully defeated this year.  Current law in Iowa requires labeling when gasoline is blended with any amount of ethanol.  If the bill had been enacted into law, it would have removed labeling requirements for ethanol blended gasoline containing 15% or less ethanol, thereby increasing the risk of misfueling and potential engine damage.  Unblended gas is required to be labeled, but no guarantee was made that unblended gas would be available.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been urged to create national labeling requirements for ethanol blended gasoline that are placed as close as possible to the pump’s product selection mechanism, but since such requirements are not currently in place, vehicle owners must rely on state labeling requirements for information about the gasoline they use in their vehicles.

Ethanol increases water formation in the fuel system, especially when the vehicle sits over a period of time.  Under these conditions, formic acid is created which corrodes metals, plastics and rubber.  This can lead to engine/parts failures and, potentially, safety hazards.  Many products in the marketplace, including older cars (your special interest collector and historic vehicles), use materials that are incompatible with ethanol.

Thank you and congratulations to all who participated in opposing this bill.  We will let you know if and when the bill is reconsidered in 2012.