Lobby having trouble pushing E-15 'choice' act

Fuel Fix:
The bill, introduced earlier in March by a bipartisan coalition of Midwestern lawmakers, is still sitting at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. It was not included on a list of bills to be debated next week, because it "does not have the support necessary to pass the committee," a spokesman for the committee said Friday.

With time winding down in the Senate, ethanol advocates say they do not expect a vote on the legislation before the Senate goes on recess in August.

"We will continue to work with our bipartisan sponsors to enact this bill to provide drivers across the country cleaner fuel options year-round," said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

The legislation, known as the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, would allow gasoline stations to sell E15 - which contains 15 percent ethanol gasoline compared to the standard 10 percent -- despite summertime air pollution measures designed to reduce ozone levels around cities.

RELATED STORY: Gasoline lobbyists go to battle to slow ethanol's rise

On Wednesday Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the former chairman of the Senate environment committee, took to the Senate floor railing against the bill and the Renewable Fuel Standard itself, which was enacted under the George W. Bushadministration to diversify the country's fuel supply.
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Even the title of this proposal border on fraud.  If this was really about consumer choice, we would have the choice of whether to buy fuel without any ethanol at all.

That would be especially helpful to people who use small engines for everything from lawn mowers to outboards.  It would mean more miles to the gallon for people who had the choice not to use ethanol in their automobile.  

The mandates are the product of a perceived scarcity of oil that is clearly no longer the case.  I support doing away with the Renewable Fuel Standard entirely and let consumers and fuel retailers have a real choice and not the bogus one being pushed by the ethanol lobby.

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