Missouri lawmakers block access to E15

By Chris Hanson | October 14, 2013

The Missouri Joint Committee on Administrative Rules blocked a proposed rule change from the state’s Department of Agriculture that could have allowed higher ethanol blends to be sold at fueling stations.

The committee reported the decision was not based on the benefits of E15, but that the policy decision would have to come from the legislature when it convenes in January. The current ruling will act as a temporary moratorium, which could allow the state’s legislature to decide whether to indefinitely block the rule, or the proposal can be withdrawn by the department.

Responses from the ethanol industry and the Missouri Corn Growers Association call for renewed focus on marketers and station owners, as well as persistence and dedication. “We’ve always worked with petroleum marketers and their associations but it’s time for us to identify associations that put petroleum in ahead of marketers in their practices. In those states where petroleum groups have consistently advocated against fuel choice and in favor of big oil, we need to drop our memberships, sponsorships and stop attending their events. We can better utilize our time and resources by working directly with marketers and station owners’ marketers in those state,” said Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol.

“The bureaucratic process takes time. The recent vote by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules was not on the merits of E15, but a legal issue. A 15 percent ethanol fuel blend is currently available in the nine surrounding states at a savings of 10 to 15 cents compared to 87 octane. Missouri fuel retailers should have the right to sell the federally approved product and Missouri consumers should have additional choices at the pump. We will continue to work with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and members of the General Assembly to bring E15 to Missouri drivers,” said Gary Marshall, CEO of Missouri Corn Growers Association.