Bill offers relief from costly state ethanol mandate

BY Oregon House Republicans

SALEM””House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) and Rep. Tim Freeman (R-Roseburg) today presented their bipartisan bill to offer Oregon drivers relief from the state’s ethanol mandate. Responding to constituents’ concerns that the mandate damages engines and increases gas mileage, HB 3177 allows service stations to sell premium gasoline without ethanol.

“I’ve heard from many people who are concerned that they’re getting worse gas mileage with ethanol-blended gas,” said Rep. Freeman, a service station owner. “HB 3177 will make it easier for more Oregonians to get gasoline that doesn’t contain ethanol. This will allow the market to dictate access.”

Oregon’s ethanol mandate currently allows dealers to sell gasoline to be used in certain motor vehicles and tools, such as watercraft, snowmobiles, antique vehicles and vintage aircraft- yet clear fuel has become increasingly difficult to obtain. Rep. Hanna said HB 3177 will give more Oregonians the ability to choose between ethanol-blended fuel and clear fuel.

“After the 10 percent ethanol mandate was implemented last year, I began to hear from Oregonians throughout the state who were concerned that ethanol would damage their engines and equipment,” Rep. Hanna said. “HB 3177 addresses their concerns. The bill maintains the state ethanol mandate but allows Oregonians to purchase premium gas without ethanol.”

In addition to HB 3177, House Republican members have introduced additional bills to address the ethanol mandate and its impact on Oregonians:

· Rep. George Gilman (R-Medford) introduced HB 2559 to remove the requirement that dealers sell only ethanol-blended fuel.

· Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City) introduced HB 3277 to direct the state to study the mandate and report the benefits and the harmful effects of the addition of ethanol to gasoline.

· Rep. Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) introduced HB 2725 to prohibit tax credits for the use of biofuels and biomass that are fit for human consumption.

Each of these bills were heard today in the House Environment and Water Committee.