Maine passes bill limiting ethanol blending, conditions apply

Source: By Holly Jessen | May 21, 2013, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gov. Paul LePage of Maine recently signed a bill effectively limiting corn-ethanol blends to 10 percent. However, it will take action in two other area states before it becomes a reality.

LD 453 prohibits retailers from selling gasoline “that contains corn-based ethanol as an additive at level greater than 10 percent by volume.” The bill only goes into effect if two other New England states also pass similar laws. The list of New England states includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ricky Long.

Two other anti-ethanol bills have floundered in the Maine Senate, with one effectively dead and the other up for possible reconsideration after a “do not pass” vote. LD 105, a bill to allow retailers to sell E5, a decrease from the current E10 requirement, was killed in the Senate, according to Darek Grant, secretary of the Maine Senate.

LD 115, which seeks to ban the sale of corn-based ethanol completely (provided two other New England states pass similar laws), failed a previous Senate vote. However, a motion to reconsider was made and accepted. The decision to reconsider the vote or not has been tabled, Grant said, so it’s unknown if that bill will prevail or not.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Action Network, a partnership of vehicle clubs, enthusiasts and members of the specialty auto parts industry, is calling on its members to email Maine Senators to reconsider the initial vote.