Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer on May 6 signed into law a bill requiring much of the state's gasoline to contain 10 percent ethanol. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) praised Montana's leadership for growing the state's use and production of ethanol through this E10 fuel requirement.

"The U.S. ethanol industry praises Governor Schweitzer and the state's legislators for their bipartisan spirit and dedication to growing ethanol use and production in Montana," said Brian Jennings, ACE executive vice president. "Their leadership, plus that of the Ethanol Producers and Consumers (EPAC), places Montana as a frontrunner in our nation's progress toward greater use of home-grown renewable fuels."

The legislation will require all gasoline in Montana to contain 10 percent ethanol, with the exception of 91 octane gasoline. The law goes into effect twelve months after the state has 40 million gallons of annual ethanol production capacity.

Senator Jerry Black, R-Shelby, and Representative Bob Bergren, D-Havre, are the original authors of the legislation. ACE's Jennings visited Montana and met with the governor and legislative leadership on behalf of the national ethanol industry.

Montana became the third state in the nation to require the use of 10 percent ethanol. Hawaii enacted a similar measure last year, and Minnesota has done so for nearly a decade. A measure in Minnesota to require 20 percent ethanol in all gasoline by 2013 received final approval and is on its way to Governor Tim Pawlenty for his signature.

"In addition to encouraging other states to consider their own renewable fuels measures, we urge Congress to take action on a nationwide Renewable Fuels Standard that calls for at least eight billion gallons of ethanol use annually. It is vital that America relies upon home-grown fuels for its energy needs rather than continuing to import record amounts of crude oil and finished gasoline at record high prices," Jennings added.

The U.S. currently has the capacity to produce nearly 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol annually at 85 ethanol plants. The nation consumes more than 140 billion gallons of gasoline each year, so much potential remains for increased nationwide use of ethanol.

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