INDIANAPOLIS — Ethanol supporters claim a bill headed to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb tries to sabotage sales of E15.
However, the bill’s author, State Sen. Mark Messmer, insists the bill is meant to protect Hoosiers at the pump.
“Generally speaking, all gas in Indiana is E10, so 10% ethanol blend,” said Indiana Ethanol Producers Association Spokesperson Tim Phelps.
However, 15% ethanol blend, or E15, is cheaper, better for the environment and good for Indiana farmers.
“Today in Indiana, half of every bushel of corn grown in the state is processed at one of our state’s ethanol plants,” said Phelps. “This is a good fuel in Indiana, and with the importance of ag[riculture] in our state, and with the importance of this industry to our state, we want to make sure that we are not sabotaging. In fact, we should be doing the opposite.”
That’s why the Indiana Ethanol Producers Association and other groups are urging the governor to veto a bill that requires a state warning on E15 pumps.
“No other state today has a state specific warning label, and there’s a good reason for that, and it’s that there is already a federal warning label today that’s mandated by the federal government,” said Phelps.
The Environmental Protection Agency warning says E15 should only be used in flex-fuel vehicles and 2001 models and newer. It also urges against E15 use for boats and gas-powered equipment.
“I’ve got a vehicle, it’s a 2013 Toyota Highlander,” said Sen. Messmer. “And according to the EPA label, it is perfectly fine to use in my vehicle. Only thing is, in my vehicle owner’s manual, it says do not use E15!”
Messmer’s bill passed the Indiana General Assembly and requires a warning on every E15 pump telling users to check their owners manual and warranty.
“We think that this is an effort that’s designed to sabotage sales of E15 in the state and jeopardize Hoosiers’ ability to make a choice at the pump,” said Phelps.
Messmer said that’s not true.
“I’m looking out for the consumer,” he explained.
Messmer hopes people use E15 if they can and said this bill will help them find out.
Governor Holcomb’s office wouldn’t comment on the legislation specifically, only saying the governor will review the bill once it arrives at his desk.
Click here learn more about the proposal.