Maine governor issues anti-ethanol executive order

By Erin Voegele | June 23, 2016

On June 20, Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage issued an executive order mandating state agencies give purchasing preference to gasoline blends with 5 percent or less ethanol when those fuels are of a comparable cost to higher ethanol blends.

The order also directs the state’s Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the Department of Environmental Protection, to undertake a scientific review of the human health effects of emissions produced by the combustion of ethanol-blended fuels and on the impact of increased ethanol blends on emissions. The report is to be complete by July 1, 2017.

The executive order cites federal mandates that have increased the production and use of ethanol, the impact of vehicle emissions on state air quality, and the need to understand the environmental and human health effects of emissions from ethanol-blended gasoline as reasons for the issuance of the executive order.

“It’s important that with the increased use of ethanol mixed gasoline that we understand the environmental and health risks associated with it. This executive order will help identify data so we can make better informed decisions regarding the use of ethanol,” LePage said in a statement. “The Office of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will work with the Department of Environmental Protection, to undertake a review of scientific evidence regarding the human health effects of emissions produced by the combustion of ethanol containing gasoline and the effect of increasing ethanol blends on emissions.”

A full copy of the executive order can be downloaded from the governor’s website.