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AIM helps defeat E-15 rule amendment

Saying the new fuel blend would impose severe costs on Missouri employers and governments, Associated Industries of Missouri this week helped defeat a Missouri Department of Agriculture move to allow service stations in Missouri to start selling 15 percent ethanol blended fuels.

The Department of Agriculture policy came in the form of a proposed amendment to state rules that allow for the selling of ten percent ethanol blended fuel. The amendment came up for a hearing Monday, October 7, before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).

Testifying on behalf of auto manufacturers before the committee, Tony Reinhart voiced automakers’ concerns about the impact of introducing E-15 fuel on consumers with cars and trucks that are not properly equipped to use the fuel.

As it was presented to JCAR, the amendment carried a probable cost to the state and employers of less than $500 a year. AIM president Ray McCarty submitted written testimony against the rule, arguing that E-15 blended fuel results in lower fuel mileage, leading to increased costs for Missouri businesses in the transportation of goods, the providing of services and travel.

In addition, the fuel can do damage to engines not equipped to burn the fuel. AIM maintains that it is inevitable the new blend would be put into engines equipped only for ordinary non-lead fuel or even E-10 fuel, causing higher repair costs for employers.

Similar arguments can be made for state vehicle fleets.

AIM also maintains that the increased ethanol usage will lead to greater price pressure on corn and other raw materials used in ethanol production, leading to higher prices for Missouri businesses that use those raw materials in their production. Read AIM’s letter here.

After a two-day layover, JCAR ruled against the amendment. Read about the decision here.

But, JCAR member State Senator Eric Schmitt (R-St. Louis) told reporters following the decision that the discussions on the amendment were “extremely informative” and could possibly lead to legislation on the E-15 inclusion in the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

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