Indiana governor urged to veto anti-ethanol E15 labeling bill

By Erin Voegele | April 06, 2021

The Indiana House and Senate have each passed a bill that aims to implement additional labeling requirements for fuel pumps that sell E15. Representatives of the ethanol industry are urging Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to veto the bill.

The legislation, SB 303, was first introduced in the Indiana Senate in January. The Senate voted 46 to 2 in favor of the bill on Feb. 23. The Indiana House voted 71 to 23 to pass the legislation on March 23, with the state Senate voting 46 to 2 on April 1 to concur to House amendments. The bill will now be considered by Holcomb.

SB 303 would require fuel dispensers that offer E15 to display the statement “Attention: E15. Check owner’s manual for compatibility and warranty requirements” next to the fuel grade selection button, as part of, or in addition to, the label currently required by the U.S. EPA. The bill also includes provisions related to underground storage tanks and establishes new maximum vapor pressure limits for gasoline and gasoline-ethanol blends.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor sent a letter to Holcomb on April 6 urging him to veto SB 303, calling the bill “anti-ethanol legislation intended to destroy demand for homegrown biofuels.”

Skor said the bill would limit sales of E15 by mandating unnecessary warning labels that “serve only to confuse customers and add completely unnecessary redundancy to already burdensome federal labeling requirements.”

“This legislation also muddies key regulations in a manipulative attempt to obstruct additional retailers from offering E15,” Skor wrote. “By adding a needless label that conflicts with language already on federally required stickers, SB 303 directly threatens new markets key to revitalizing income for Hoosier farmers."

Skor’s letter notes that ethanol production supports 23,800 jobs in Indiana and contributes $2.2 billion annually to the state’s economy. “By chilling demand for E15, SB 303 risks sacrificing one of the state’s most promising opportunities to lead the way on clean energy and agricultural growth,” she wrote.

“Currently, E15 is offered at more than 2,300 retail locations across 30 states, including Indiana. Consumers have already driven more than 20 billion miles using this higher-octane, low-carbon alternative made with Indiana energy – a testament to its success at the pump,” Skor added. “E15 continues to grow in popularity in markets where it’s already available, in part because it saves motorists three to 10 cents on every gallon. SB 303 would chill that progress. It represents a direct assault on farmers and imposes a needless burden on consumers and the broader Hoosier economy.”

A full copy of Skor’s letter can be downloaded from the Growth Energy website