Ethanol bill introduced in Senate

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Legislation designed to protect boaters and manufacturers from the problems associated with mid-level ethanol blends in gasoline was introduced Monday in the U.S. Senate.

The Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Act of 2009, S. 1666, was introduced by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Mary Landrieu, D-La.

The Clean Air Act prohibits the sale of mid-level ethanol blends, but the ethanol industry is seeking a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to sell E15 as a general purpose fuel. The new bill requires that the EPA's Science Advisory Board study the compatibility of such fuels with current engines before a waiver can be granted.

The study would also include a comprehensive analysis of available independent scientific evidence on the compatibility of mid-level ethanol fuels with the emission requirements of the Clean Air Act and the operability of engines, among other things.

"NMMA applauds and thanks Senators Collins, Cardin, Whitehouse and Landrieu for introducing this important, common-sense bill," said NMMA president Thom Dammrich, in a statement. "This legislation validates a science-first approach to ethanol policy and shines the spotlight on the myriad of issues associated with hasty attempts by ethanol advocates to introduce mid-level ethanol blends into the marketplace."

To read the bill, click here.

Click here for the full NMMA release.

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