BoatUS backs repeal of ethanol mandate in Florida

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BoatUS is asking members to help repeal Florida’s ethanol mandate by asking Gov. Rick Scott to sign House Bill 4001.

A state law that passed in 2008 requires that all gasoline sold in Florida contain between 9 and 10 percent ethanol. Although there is an exception for fuel sold for use in boats, the law has made finding ethanol-free fuel more difficult, the group said in a statement.

HB 4001, which would repeal the mandate, has passed the legislature and awaits Scott's signature.

“Boat Owners Association of the United States recognizes that renewable fuels are an important part of our nation's overall energy future and that boaters over the past few years have had some challenges with ethanol,” the group said in a statement. “While there can be honest differences of opinion over the merits of using corn-based ethanol as a renewable fuel source, it is clear that many boaters still want options.”

Although boat owners can currently find ethanol-free fuel in some marinas, the state mandate has made it more difficult to find it at gas stations and convenience stores. Although gasoline with ethanol may cost less than ethanol-free gasoline, it also contains less energy, requiring more trips to the pump, the group said.

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