Legislation (LD 453) that prohibits a person from selling or offering for sale gasoline that contains corn-based ethanol as an additive at a level greater than 10% by volume has been signed into law by Maine Gov. Paul LePage.
According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Action Network (SAN), the law would not take effect until at least two other New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) have enacted laws that prohibit the sale of gasoline that contains corn-based ethanol at a level greater than 10% by volume.
Separate legislation (LD 115) to prohibit the sale and distribution of corn-based ethanol if at least two other New England states pass a similar prohibition failed in the Maine Senate by a 21-14 vote. However, the bill remains alive as senators reconsider the initial vote.
LD 115 recognizes that ethanol increases water formation which can then corrode metals, plastics and rubber, especially over a period of time when the vehicle is not used. Current high-performance specialty parts along with pre-model year 2001 cars and parts may be most susceptible to corrosion.
LD 115 recognizes that the life span of vehicles and equipment can be dramatically reduced with the wrong fuel and that owners could be confronted with breakdowns. Anti-corrosion additives are available for each purchase of gasoline but can become expensive, burdensome and require consumer education.
For more information visit the SAN website.
For more on ethanol bans, see Florida bill to end ethanol gas sent to governor.
By Michael Shepherd mainetoday
AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate rejected a bill that could eventually ban the use of ethanol in motor fuel in the state in an initial vote Wednesday.
The bill, L.D. 115, would ban the use of ethanol in motor fuel in Maine, but only if two other New England states also prohibit the additive.
The 21-14 Senate vote against the bill is in conflict with a 109-32 vote in support of the bill in the House of Representatives last week. More votes are pending in order to reconcile the difference between the legislative chambers.
Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake, R-Turner, the bill’s sponsor, has made reducing the use of ethanol, a corn-based additive that many say is harmful to small engines and older car engines, a main priority of his this legislative session.
Another of his bills, L.D. 105, also was passed initially by the House last week. It would allow the sale of gasoline containing only 5 percent ethanol instead of the current 10 percent.
On the House floor last week, supporters of the bill also argued that using corn-based ethanol is essentially putting food in fuel tanks. Opponents said barring the sale of fuel with 10 percent ethanol fuel would put the state at odds with the federal Clean Air Act.
Arguments in the Senate on Wednesday followed that track.
“I don’t know how many stories I’ve heard about people having engines that were ruined” because of ethanol, said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash. “Personally, I would pay a couple cents more (to buy fuel without it), but I don’t believe that’s going to be the case.”
Most gas available in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol, but the federal Environmental Protection Agency has declared a 15-percent blend safe for engines and allowed its sale. Last week, both chambers of the Maine Legislature unanimously passed a resolution imploring the