A law that requires gasoline sold in Florida to contain some
percentage of ethanol may be headed for repeal.
Bills sponsored by state Rep. Matt Gaetz and state Sen. Greg Evers appear to have cleared all significant hurdles in the Legislature.
H.B. 4001 passed the House with a 77-39 vote and S.B. 320, amended to mirror the House bill, faces no significant opposition as it awaits a final vote on the Senate floor.
Read a copy of the bill. >>
"It was a fight. It's been a fight for the last two sessions," said Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. "But no bill I've ever sponsored has gotten support and enthusiastic reaction like this bill."
If approved and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, the bill would remove a requirement that all service stations sell gasoline containing an established percentage of ethanol.
Service stations can continue to sell gas containing ethanol if they wish, Gaetz said.
This week Evers, with some help from Senate President Don Gaetz was able to convince Sen. Jack Latvala to drop a provision added to the Senate version that would have "encouraged" the use of blended gasoline.
Matt Gaetz said Latvala's addition to the bill was "offensive to free market principles."
"It's government encouraging citizens on which product to buy," he said.
Evers, R-Baker, said outboard motor manufacturers and others who say ethanol can harm engines helped persuade Latvala to remove his amendment during debate on the Senate floor.
Don Gaetz was "very supportive" of the bill, Evers said, "but I don't think he broke anybody's arm."
(c)2013 the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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