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Mo. Lawmakers Mulling Rule Change For Ethanol Use

(via Flickr/bradleypjohnson)

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is proposing a rule change that would allow more ethanol to be blended into gasoline sold in the Show-Me State.

The proposal would allow for the sale of E-15 in Missouri, which would be marketed to both regular and flex-fuel automobiles.  Kristy Moore with the Illinois-based Renewable Fuels Association told a group of Missouri lawmakers that federal law requires E-15 pumps to be properly labeled with guidelines on which autos can use it.

"There have been zero reports of misfueling, engine damage or liability claims against retailers offering E-15," Moore said.  "With a zero-claim history, the label has been proven effective."

Current state law only allows E-10 to be marketed to all vehicle owners, while higher blends such as E-85 are marketed only for flex-fuel autos.  Ron Leone of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association opposes the proposed rule change.

"What this does is by rule and by bureaucratic fiat, it's magically transforming non-flex-fuel vehicles into flex-fuel vehicles by simply saying the non-flex-fuel vehicles can now burn E-15," Leone said.  "That causes great confusion for the consumer (and) it has the potential to damage their engines and void their warranties."

The EPA has approved E-15 use in most passenger vehicles dating back to model year 2001 under certain conditions.  The Missouri Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules is expected to decide by Wednesday whether to block the proposed rule change.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.