Maine is located in the upper northeast corner of the continental US, but the state is thinking throw itself smack-dab in the middle of the controversy involving sales of gasoline blends with higher percentages of corn-based ethanol. The Pine Tree State's Department of Environmental Protection is mulling over writing a bill that would ban public sales of gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol, the Bangor Daily News says.

Some Maine regulators are expressing concern that gasoline blends with 15-percent ethanol, i.e. E15, could potentially damage engines of both light-duty and recreational vehicles. Granted, Maine would only enact the ban if at least two other New England states do the same because going it alone would force Maine refiners to produce a custom blend for the state only, and such a "boutique blend," the newspaper says, could cause Maine's gas prices to jump.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) legalized public sales of E15 last June in part as a way to reduce foreign-oil dependency. Since then, the EPA has been under fire from a variety of entities ranging from environmentalists to auto groups who fear engine damage and voided warranties as well as environmental damage and food shortages spurred by the additional demand for corn.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      raktmn
      • 1 Day Ago
      I see we've entered the point where all that is left are anti-ethanol trolls with zero brains. Feeding time is over.
      diffrunt
      • 1 Day Ago
      Real gas costs me 10% more, gives 20% better mileage , doesn't clog my injector pump.
      EZEE
      • 1 Day Ago
      Radical Right Wing Extremist here... Isn't it live free or die? How about no mandate either way? Or, require the gas station to post content of the gas. People are going off the deep end....
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Day Ago
        @EZEE
        I believe "Live Free or Die" is New Hampshire, not Maine.
        EVnerdGene
        • 1 Day Ago
        @EZEE
        Free choice: How about a pump where I can dial in 0, 5, 10, 15, , , 85 ? Then our friends that want lousy E-mileage and ruin their engines can get E45 for their E10 vehicles. (there are actually people out there that want this !!!!) That's freedom. My 2012 CRZmanual says max 10% ethanol or voids warranty. Just reading some boating stuff last night. Article talked about phase separation when E10 sits a long time. Ethanol goes to bottom of tank (you can imagine what ~E100 does to an E0 to E10 tank, engine, etc). I wish we had freedom from stupidity; but that's asking too much.
          EZEE
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          I would love a mixer pump - but would also hope the price might be adjusted. My ULEV Flex fuel vehicle is rated up to E85. So if the price were cheaper, I would fill up on that. Likewise, for my boat, it would be E0.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          man, I'm getting so sick of left-wing extremists (like latest post - Marshall Kaplan) telling us what is best for us Anytime someone thinking they're an intellectual tells you they are smarter than you; grab your wallet, goodbye to freedom; and expect stupidity, propaganda, and out-right lies.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Day Ago
        @EZEE
        @ EZEE i agree, absolutely . Free choice, free competition.
      • 1 Day Ago
      Maine would be ill advised to ban e 15. The AAA position is flawed, based on widely criticized studies funded by oil and autoindustry. E 15 is safe for cars....has been used in Brazil for years. Tests by EPA and DOE have attested to its safety. It is better for environment, America's security, consumer costs. Slow down. Marshall Kaplan, Fuel Freedom Foundation. WWW.FuelFreedom.org
      • 1 Day Ago
      Using petroleum fertilizers to grow food crops for the production of-- ethanol-- is a complete waste of time. Agricultural waste and urban garbage can easily be converted into methanol. And methanol can easily be converted into high octane gasoline through the MTG process which has been around for nearly 40 years. We need to be producing carbon neutral methanol in this country for our transportation fuel industry. And so does the rest of the world! Marcel F. Williams
      raktmn
      • 1 Day Ago
      There seem to be some folks here who don't understand the Constitution. The Constitution means that you are only as free to burn whatever you want up and until you start violating the constitutional rights of other people around you. Everyone around you has the right under the constitution to live their lives without you violating their constitutional rights. No constitutional rights are absolute, all rights are constrained the minute they interfere with another's rights. In this case, the constitutional right is the right to breath air that is clean enough that it doesn't interfere in their health and welfare. This right is enshrined in law as EPA smog limits. To that Constitutional right, all drivers must obey pollution laws enshrined so that EPA smog limits are enforced. EPA regulations derive straight from that Constitutional right. You are violating other people's constitutional rights when you violate EPA smog and pollution regulations, and there is a "State Interest" at a federal level in protecting everyone else's constitutional right from you violating their rights. You do not have a constitutional right to burn whatever fuel you want in a pure "Laissez-faire" open fuel market, as this has been tried, and it led in the past to the violations of the Constitutional rights of others health and welfare. Pure "Laissez-faire" fuels and automobile emissions was tried, and it failed. It continues to fail in 3rd world nations (that don't have Constitutions that protect people's natural rights) that adopt this approach. The specific EPA smog regulations that apply to E10 is that E10 is the oxygenator that replaced MTBE, and oxygenators greatly reduce smog. The mandate for oxygenators predates ethanol being used as an oxygenator, and it's passage has nothing to do with ethanol, or some crazy conspiracy. Your Constitutional right to burn E0 is limited by the Constitutional rights of everyone else to breath clean air, the same way you do not have a Constitutional right to shout fire in a theater, even though you have free speech rights. You do not have an unbounded Constitutional right to burn E0. Why is it that the same folks who wrap themselves in the Constitution for purely political posturing, are the same folks who have no clue how the Constitution applies?
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Day Ago
        @raktmn
        @ raktmn Ok, got out my copy of the US Constitution, complete with all amendments. But I can find none of the clauses you mention ! Nor is there any such legal concept as "natural rights" ! (Often mistaken with the legal concept of 'natural justice', which simply guarantees 'procedural' correctness) Natural justice is a philosophical concept espoused by writers like John Locke, The Earl of Shaftesbury, Tom Paine, etc. I think you are confusing these lofty issues, with the Constitutional power granted to the US government to regulate trade and commerce. (even that has limitations). [quote] "This right is enshrined in law as EPA smog limits" [/quote] Your reverence toward of the EPA bureaucracy displays an unfortunate, authoritarian attitude toward government power! ' Enshrined' is a word usually employed for far more important concepts, not simply an act creating a government department to enforce government policy. "Why is it that the same folks who wrap themselves in the Constitution for purely political posturing, are the same folks who have no clue how the Constitution applies?" Oh, we understand the constitution just fine ! Unlike you, we don't confuse the laws made by legislators for regulatory purposes, as of Constitutional importance. The US Constitution neither grants people the right to burn E0, nor the right to burn E10, 15 or any other fuel. The method of generating energy, Electricity, Ethanol, Oil, NG, Coal, Wood, or any other energy sources are subject to ordinary government legislative process. The manufacture and distribution of Ethanol, is purely a matter of government policy, and like any government policy, a proper subject for concern and debate by the electorate (or anyone). What the US constitution does 'enshrine', is the principle of limitations on the arbitrary power of governments ! In the end, it's the voter's who decide !
        EVnerdGene
        • 1 Day Ago
        @raktmn
        man that was quite a diatribe (aka: diarrhea) What makes you think E10 is any cleaner than E0 ? or E15 cleaner than E10 ? The jury is still out on that one; with more studies showing ethanol doing strange things in the atmosphere than not. MTBE - that was a brilliant move from the EPA. Stupid is as stupid does.
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          aldehydes http://gas2.org/2009/12/14/study-finds-ethanol-use-increases-ozone-and-carcinogen-pollution/ MTBE was great stuff also. WTF happened ? - - - I don't remember reading anything in the Constitution about burning stuff. - - - I made a New Year's Resolution to stop arguing with idiots. I hope you won't mind if I skip your next rant.
          raktmn
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          Why do I know that E10 burns cleaner than E0? Science. The science on oxygenated fuel is readily available and has been confirmed by decades of real world use. Maybe you should read up about it first before you post about it on a green car website. Are you claiming that oxygenating fuel doesn't work, despite the volumes of science and real world data that is available? Or are you just too lazy to go out and learn for yourself, and must be baby-fed the information? More importantly, Do you understand how the Constitution means you don't have a right to burn anything you want? Or are you still stuck on the idea that you shouldn't be responsible for the consequences of your actions?
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      If some Maine drivers don't want to buy E15, they don't have to. There is no E15 mandate. But having the state get in the way of drivers who do choose to burn E15 is wrong. Why is the state trying to limit choices drivers have available to them? What state interest do they have in stopping drivers from choosing the fuel they want? It is unlikely that Maine actually has the authority to enact an E15 ban and punish drivers/stations for choosing E15 in direct contradiction of EPA rules. Pollution is a clear federal issue as the effects of pollution crosses state lines. The EPA has clear federal authority, recognized many times by the Supreme Court, and only California has the right under law to get waivers of Federal EPA rules and have CARB make rules of their own. All other states have only two choices. Stick with the Federal regulations, or adopt California rules.
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Day Ago
        @raktmn
        @ raktmn You are very selective about which Supreme court decisions you are willing to respect. But, that's OK, you're entitled to express your opinion. That's guaranteed to you by the First Amendment. (not an amendment you're too keen about) Also you are quite right. The State of Maine should allow driver the right to buy the fuel of their choice! However, the same principle should apply to all states. No state should mandate ethanol additives, just to follow California's ideology, or the interests of the ethanol lobby ! It's time that overly politically correct lawmakers, realise that motorist are adults and quite capable of expressing the same degree of responsibility when choosing a type of fuel as they do when they vote ! (although judging from the some elected office holders, maybe that's not the best comparison :))
        EVnerdGene
        • 1 Day Ago
        @raktmn
        hey Marco, One of the beauties of our trampled-on Constitution is that it allows states the freedom to experiment. (like the California Air Resources Board) Then you have politicians that come along and think they know better, followed by legislating from the bench. (some call that tyranical or dictators, but I digress)
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          According to our Constitution; this sort of thing (E15) should have been debated in Congress and decided upon by our representatives which we should eventually be able to fire for doing stupid. Instead we have stupid electing stupid (dictators), and agencies (like the EPA) making law.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @ EVnerdGene Ah, but it all depends on which side of the siapute you support, as to whether the decisions of Judges and Leaders are are the rulings of 'great men' and 'visionaries', or corrupt oppression by Tyrannical, dictators ! ;)
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          @ EVnerdGene You make a valid point. It's important that government agencies don't become so powerful and complex that the citizens (through the legislature), lose control to unchecked bureaucratic power .
      diffrunt
      • 1 Day Ago
      GO Maine !
      Kristen
      • 1 Day Ago
      Why don't we let the market decide? Laissez-faire, people! =) I also suspect that if there are corroded seals and part failures, dealerships and manufacturers will be keen to point fingers are the E15 use. Since the government says it's safe, we can presume there will be zero assistance from them with respect to part failures. They would be right to do so, since the burden of proof rests on the consumer. Automakers have been vocal in opposition, and regardless of studies, etc., that fact suggests there is a chance issues will arise with its use. The EPA test hasn't dealt with longevity, to my knowledge. That tells me more testing is needed in order to use the word "comprehensive." I need more empirical data to convince me. If this information hasn't been made public, why hasn't it? In time, perhaps, but everything about this just screams "too soon." Maine seems to think along those lines as well.
        raktmn
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Kristen
        Too soon? E10 has been around for 3 decades, and testing with E15, E20, and E23 mixes have been going on for decades in nations around the world. The test results are very clear. Straight ethanol without any lubricity additives does the exact same thing that gasoline does without any lubricity additives. They both wear engines. That is why both ethanol and gasoline (and diesel) all come with lubricity additives. That is why E85 is warrantied for engines, because ethanol, just like gasoline comes with mandatory additives. Claiming engine wear for E15, when the same manufacturers build E85 engines is silly. The additives do their jobs, just like they do their job in gas engines. No seal or gasket maker has made non-ethanol safe seals for decades. You just can't buy them. Claiming a seal or gasket that works with no problem with 10% ethanol will suddenly fail with 15% ethanol is a silly claim. Like I said, mixes of E15, E20, and E23 have been studied for decades, and there just isn't any evidence of that happening, even with much higher blends. It isn't until you get to much higher concentrations that the E85 seals are needed. There are plenty of these studies out there from many countries that are all public if you want to spend the time to read them. The studies the EPA used are also public.
      • 1 Day Ago
      Ethanol has very little to do with air quality and nothing with energy independence. Here are my last wrods on the ethanol scam from 5 yrs ago http://journal.livingfood.us/2009/06/16/the-ethanol-fuel-hoax/
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't see how Maine has to face a boutique fuel situation here. E15 is not exactly spreading yet.
    • Load More Comments