On February 14, Senator
Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced, S. 344, a bill to prohibit the EPA
from approving the introduction of gasoline that contains greater than 10 per
cent ethanol. The bill has three
co-sponsors. The key to the Wicker bill
is that it would nullify any EPA granted waiver to mitigate mis-fueling.
On February 27, James
Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced H.R. 875 to provide for a comprehensive
assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of the
use of mid-level ethanol blends. The
Sensenbrenner bill takes a different approach to the problems caused by
mid-levels of ethanol blends. However,
both bills would nullify EPA granted waivers.
H.R. 857 also prohibits the EPA from issuing new waivers until the
results of the additional research are complete. In addition, H.R 875 specifically includes
testing of the effect of ethanol on marine engines and fuel systems and the
potential of mis-fueling at various points in the distribution and supply
chains. The bill provides $900,000 to
pay for the testing to be taken out of already appropriated research funds.
MRAA supports both S. 344
and H.R. 875. It is expected the House
Environment Subcommittee will mark up the Sensenbrenner bill in early summer
with floor action in the House possible in the fall.