Florida Bill Would Repeal Ethanol Requirement

Source: Cindy Zimmerman, Domestic Fuel • Posted: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A bill has been introduced in the Florida legislature that would repeal the state’s Renewable Fuel Standard Act.

Currently, the Florida law requires that all gasoline sold or offered for sale by a terminal supplier, importer, blender or wholesaler in Florida contain 9-10 percent ethanol, or other alternative fuel, by volume. Legislation to repeal that requirement was considered by the Florida House Regulatory Affairs Committee on Friday and Pensacola automotive technician and radio host Bobby Likis was there.

However, Likis was only able to say that he opposed the bill before the hearing had to be ended for lawmakers to go to the floor. “I’ve answered over 100,000 questions live on air, many of which have addressed the ethanol issue with regard to engine damage,” said Likis, host of the syndicated Car Clinic Network. “I strongly oppose the bill.”

Likis, who is a strong advocate for ethanol, says he is prepared to do what he can to prevent the legislation from passing in Florida.

Also testifying against the bill was Patrick Ahlm with Alginol Biofuels, an industrial biotechnology company working towards the production of fuel from algae headquartered in southwest Florida. “We’ve raised $190 million since we were founded in 2006 by Florida residents,” said Ahlm. “Our focus right now is on operating our pilot scale facility in Ft. Myers.”

Alhm said they are looking toward a commercial facility. “Our technology does not require farm land, food crops or fresh water,” he said. “We respect the issues around mandates and traditional ethanol but when we go into the investment community, this sends a very bad signal about continuing to grow in Florida.”

Because the committee ran out of time, the bill sponsored in the Florida House by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach will be carried over to the next meeting.