State Rep. Matt Gaetz continues fight to end ethanol mandate

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM.

The Renewable Fuel Standard Act was passed in response to a federal decree that states begin moving toward using gasoline containing more ethanol.

What Gaetz has called “a feel-good attempt to use alternative energy” became state law, he told the League of Women Voters, at a time in Florida when “Gov. Crist was being politically romanced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in California.”

Ethanol is a product created by fermenting and distilling starch crops that is said to help lessen the amount of carbon dioxide released in the air as fossil fuels are consumed.

When the act was implemented in 2010, all the gasoline sold in Florida was required to contain between 9 and 10 percent ethanol.

A ruling by a Federal Court of Appeals this week opened the door to distribution of fuels with a 15 percent ethanol concentration, The Hill website reported Tuesday.

Christina Martin, executive vice president of the national Renewable Fuels Association, said, “Now is not the time for Florida to stick its head in the sand and deny its role as a potential leader in biofuels.”

“At this time, next generation ethanol companies are starting up like the one in Vero Beach, which is currently generating 400 direct and indirect jobs and will result in 60 full-time jobs,” Martin said in an email.

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