Chicago finance committee passes E15 ordinance

By Erin Voegele | December 08, 2014

On Dec. 8, the Chicago City Council Committee on Finance passed an ordinance that would require filling stations within the city to supply E15. The measure now moves to the full city council for a hearing on Dec. 10.

“I’m very pleased this ordinance has such strong support within the Council and across Chicago,” said cosponsor Alderman Anthony Beale in a statement. “I look forward to the full council vote, and to giving Chicagoans a cleaner, less expensive option.”

Supporters of the bill delivered a petition with 7,673 signatures to the Dec. 8 meeting. If passed by the full city council, the ordinance would build on Chicago’s history of passing environmentally friendly proposals.

“Chicago has time and again led the country in taking action to clean the air. The City banned leaded gasoline in 1984, and we banned a variety of toxic gasoline additives in 2000,” said Beale. “This ordinance continues that tradition of environmental leadership and stewardship.”

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis has commended the finance committee for its action, calling the vote a win for consumers and the environment.  

“Once again, Chicago displayed its leadership qualities and took an important step in helping clean up the air in Chicago by breaking up the near monopoly that oil companies have on the liquid fuels market. By advancing this ordinance, the Finance Committee has demonstrated that they are serious when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and toxic carcinogens in the air,” Buis said.  “Furthermore, they have displayed their resolve to ensure that Chicago motorists and other consumers have market access to a sustainable, cleaner burning, less expensive homegrown fuel that supports 73,156 Illinois jobs and generates $4.7 billion for the state’s economy. By moving to E15, Chicago can help create an additional 12,000 Illinois jobs that can’t be outsourced.”

Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol also spoke out to applaud the finance committee vote. “The city of Chicago has always been a leader when it comes to fuel. It was the first city in the United States to ban lead in gasoline, the first to choose ethanol over MTBE in reformulated gas, and this ordinance would make Chicago the first major city to guarantee drivers the choice of a lower cost, higher octane, clean E15 fuel.  It’s important to note that regular gas will still be available, drivers will simply gain the additional choice of E15,” he said. “We appreciate that the ordinance also includes reasonable exemptions for station owners. Only stations that are already equipped to handle E15 will be required to offer E15, meaning no added expense for the station and no added markup at the pump.”

Prior to the vote, Lamberty send a letter to members of the finance committee expressing his support for the ordinance. A full copy of that letter can be downloaded from the ACE website.

For additional information on the Chicago Clean with E15 Ordinance, see “Chicagoan Sets Her Sights on Clean Air,” in the December issue of Ethanol Producer Magazine.