Oregon passes ethanol-free gasoline law

By Kris Bevill | July 08, 2009
Report posted July 27, 2009 at 1:36 p.m. CST

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has signed a bill into law that will allow fuel stations in the state to sell unblended premium gasoline beginning Jan. 1, 2010. The bill, introduced by House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg, and Rep. Tim Freeman, R-Roseburg, was a "common sense fix" to complaints from citizens who said they had experienced engine problems as a result of using ethanol-blended fuel, according to Freeman.

"The bill addresses the concerns we've heard from many Oregonians who have experienced problems with the state's ethanol mandate," he said. "HB 3497 doesn't repeal the mandate, but better enables loggers, snowmobilers, fishermen and others to purchase the fuel they need to operate their equipment safely and effectively."

A 2008 state law already permitted retailers to sell unblended gasoline for certain non-road uses, but the legislators said unblended fuel has been difficult to access due to distribution and storage issues. "This bill will allow more retailers to sell unblended fuel to owners of the vehicles and tools who are exempted from the ethanol requirement," Hanna said. "While improving access to unblended fuel, this new law will give the state's renewable fuel standard an opportunity to work as it was originally intended."