Ethanol content in gasoline will double to twenty percent

Minnesota lawmakers on May 5 gave final approval to legislation that would require all of the state's gasoline to contain 20 percent ethanol, up from the current level of 10 percent. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) praised the passage of this groundbreaking measure.

"Minnesota continues to pioneer the advancement of the production and use of ethanol, and this historic move to a twenty percent ethanol blend sets a tremendous example for the rest of the nation," said Brian Jennings, ACE executive vice president. "The U.S. ethanol industry applauds the vision of Governor Pawlenty and the bipartisan spirit of the state's legislators. Their leadership, plus that of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the state's ethanol producers, followed this concept through to reality."

The legislation, now on its way to the governor's desk, will require all gasoline in Minnesota to contain 20 percent ethanol by 2013. The bill's authors are Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) and Sen. Dallas Sams (DFL-Staples).

The Senate passed the measure 54-12 and the House recently followed suit, passing the bill by a margin of 91-43. The separate versions were reconciled in a conference committee; the Senate passed the compromise version, and the House did so today. ACE's Jennings and Ron Lamberty, vice president / market development, testified several times on the matter on behalf of the national ethanol industry.

Minnesota was the first state in the nation to require the use of 10 percent ethanol and has done so for nearly a decade. Last year Hawaii enacted a similar measure, and Montana's E10 requirement, passed by its legislature this session, was signed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer May 6.

"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.

For more information, visit www.ethanol.org.

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