Florida may eliminate ethanol in gas

Source: Mike Synan • FOX 35 News  • Posted: Sunday, December 25, 2011

State lawmakers are looking at a proposal from Representative Matt Gaetz to eliminate ethanol in Florida gasoline.

Since 2008 law requires Florida gas to have between 9 and 10 percent ethanol to help cut down on carbon emissions. There is a lot of debate over what effect removing the standard will have on gas prices. Most believe it will raise the price of gas. Vehicles that get straight gasoline though get better gas mileage than with 10 percent ethanol, so the bill’s sponsor believes the consumer will save money over the course of a full tank of gas.

Ethanol is not good for vehicles though. Bruce Claflin of Bruce’s Mower Service in Merritt Island sees repairs all the time, especially on smaller motors on blowers, weed eaters, and chain saws. “Basically it pretty much destroys anything that gets in contact with. Diaphragms in carburetors, gas lines, it swells up plastic. It pretty much destroys anything it gets on and sits there a while.”

Claflin has to deal with complaining customers often that need repairs.

“We explain it to them. Most of them know already that it causes damage. The word is out. Everybody knows it. They just expect it.”

We asked some people on the streets and found very little support for ethanol

(Man) “It burns dirty. It smells. It’s just my opinion on it. (Be happy to see it go?) Yeah. I don’t think it’s good for anything actually.”

Environmentalists want ethanol to stay in tanks because it is supposed to reduce carbon emissions. So far the bill is sailing through the Florida House committee, and with a conservative Governor and Legislature, the days of ethanol in Florida may be over.