Indiana governor vetoes proposal requiring enhanced ethanol labeling at Indiana fuel pumps

Source: By Robert Blaszkiewicz, NW Times • Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Study: Some biofuels less green than gasoline
The Iroquois Bio-Energy plant in Rensselaer produces approximately 50 million gallons of ethanol a year.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has vetoed legislation that would have required fuel blends containing between 10% and 15% ethanol, also known as E15, be prominently labeled on Indiana fuel pumps.

Senate Enrolled Act 303 proposed mandating a label be placed next to the selection button on fuel pumps that included in large, bold type — “Attention: E15. Check owner’s manual for compatibility and warranty requirements.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most vehicles manufactured after 2001 and all flexible fuel vehicles can use E15, though the owner’s manuals of many post-2001 vehicles recommend not using E15.

The fuel also should not be used in motorcycles, trucks, buses, off-road vehicles, or equipment such as chain saws or lawn mowers.

Holcomb said he vetoed the measure because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already requires E15 pumps have a label advising consumers of the possible implications of using the fuel in certain engines, and an Indiana label would be needlessly duplicative.

However, the administration of Republican former President Donald Trump filed documents, one day before Trump’s term expired, to potentially repeal the federal E15 labeling requirement. That rule still is pending.

The Indiana Ethanol Producers Association claims making E15 more widely available would create demand for 51 million additional bushels of Indiana grain with a value of $195 million.

The E15 labeling requirement was approved 46-2 in the Republican-controlled Senate and 71-23 in the Republican-controlled House.

A majority vote in each chamber is all that’s needed to override the governor’s veto and enact the law notwithstanding his objection.