Rep. Matt Gaetz leading charge to eliminate ethanol mandate

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A House panel Tuesday approved repealing a 2008 law that requires ethanol in Florida gasoline, with sponsor Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, saying government is “crawling into our gas cans.” The proposal (HB 4013) is backed by groups such as the marine industry, which argues that ethanol damages boat motors. But it drew criticism from companies that are developing ethanol plants in Florida. Aaron Pepper, chief executive officer of Southeast Renewable Fuels, LLC, said his company is preparing to break ground on an ethanol plant in Hendry County. “Now, however, it feels like the state is pulling the rug out from under us,” Pepper told the House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee. The panel approved the bill in a 10-4 vote. The Senate version (SB 238) has also been approved by one committee and is scheduled to go to the Commerce and Tourism Committee on Wednesday. The 2008 law, backed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist, requires gasoline to include 9 to 10 percent ethanol. Even if lawmakers repeal the requirement, however, it is unclear how much effect the change would have. Federal law also includes ethanol requirements.

Via The News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.