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Missouri Lawmakers Weigh Options on E-15 Gas

Jessica Mensch
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - Missouri legislators are still deciding whether to pass a rule expanding the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline.

A hearing was held Monday to discuss whether to repeal the Agricultural Department’s cap of ten percent.

The opposition, mainly composed of members of the automotive industry, said they are not arguing against increasing the cap on ethanol to 15 percent, they just think it should be passed through the legislative process.

Ron Leone, Executive Director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association says, “We think E-15 should not be done by rule. We think it’s important enough and consequential enough that it should be done by law in order to protect consumers and small businesses and to address some of our underlying concerns regarding our ability to safely and effectively store and sell E 15 to the motoring public.”

Leone also expressed concerns he had regarding the void of warranties when using ethanol blend 15 gas on older cars.

“It will cause misfueling of your constituents and it will potentially cause damage to engines and void vehicle warranties,” Leone said.

However, Christy Moore with the Renewable Energy Association disagrees.

“There have been zero reports of misfueling, engine damage, or liability claims against retailers offering E-15. And with a zero claim history the label has been proven effective,” Moore said.

Moore also cited the economic savings consumers would receive from using the proposed ethanol blend gas.

“We have a safe, legal product that has been federally approved for sale that is for sale in our surrounding, directly-competitor states, and the only reason it is not for sale today is that we have a rule that is historical in nature that we need to update in order to make it consistent with the national standard,” Jon Hagler, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, said.

Lawmakers on the committee said they needed more time to consider the information and will allow both the Department of Agriculture and its opponents to send written testimony.

The hearing will continue Wednesday at 10 a.m. to further discuss whether Missouri will join the nine other states in the US allowed to use up to 15 percent blend ethanol gas.

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