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Pending bills in Maine would limit the sale of ethanol

By Erin Voegele | February 08, 2013

State lawmakers in Maine have introduced three bills that seek to limit the sale of ethanol within the state. One bill aims to prohibit corn ethanol sales within the state altogether. The second would prevent fuel dealers from being required to sell blend blends higher than E10, while the third would limit the sale of ethanol to an E5 blend.

On Jan. 29, state Rep. Jeffrey Timberlake introduced H.P. 97, titled “An Act to Join in a Prohibition on Motor Fuel Containing Corn-based Ethanol.” According to the text of the legislation, the measure would prevent distributors, blenders and retailers from selling, consigning or distributing motor fuel containing corn ethanol. The bill would become effective once two other New England states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont, enact the same ban on corn ethanol.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development. It reported out of committee on Feb. 5. According to the Maine legislature’s website, no public hearings or works sessions have been listed for the bill to date. Documentation published by the state legislature shows that 46 state lawmakers have signed on to cosponsor the bill.

The second bill, S.P. 94, was introduced Feb. 5 and referred to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. The legislation is titled “An Act To Provide That a Distributor, Blender or Retail Dealer of Motor Fuel May Not Be Required To Sell, Consign or Distribute Motor Fuel Containing Ten Percent or More Ethanol.” The bill has not reported out of committee, and no public hearings or work sessions have been listed on the legislature website. The legislation was presented by state Sen. Troy Jackson, and three other state senators and one state representative have signed on to cosponsor the measure, to date.

 H.P. 87, titled “An Act to Allow Motor Fuel Containing Five Percent Ethanol to Be Sold in the State,” was also introduced by Timberlake. According to the text of the legislation, it would allow “a distributor, blender or retail dealer of gasoline in the state to sell, consign, or distribute, in addition to any other gasoline offered, gasoline containing only [5 percent] ethanol.” The bill was introduced Jan. 24 and referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development. It reported out of committee on Feb. 5. No public hearings or work sessions have been listed for the measure. According to the state legislature, 43 state lawmakers have signed on to cosponsor the bill.