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Maine Seeks To Ban E15

Posted on January 11, 2013

While E15 — the blend of 15% ethanol in gasoline — has been officially approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is beginning to be seen at a handful of gas pumps around the nation, the battle against it continues to rage. And in some cases, it’s creating some surprising allies, most recently one state’s version of the EPA.

According to the Bangor Daily News, the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection is working on a bill that would ban E15 gasoline blends in Maine if at least two other New England states go along with the prohibition. The legislation is not yet written, and the department is still working on final details.

Concern over E15 stems from the fact that older vehicles and virtually all equipment powered by gasoline engines can sustain damage if fueled with the higher ethanol blend. A broad coalition consisting of engine and equipment manufacturers, marine organizations and even the American Automobile Association (AAA) have opposed E15.

If Maine lawmakers pass a ban on E15, it would only take effect if two other New England states pass similar policies. No other New England state has such a policy. A spokesman for the Maine agency said that the proposal reflects that the state is part of a regional fuel distribution system.