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Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam says ethanol repeal sends wrong message for Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is technically neutral on a proposal to repeal the 2008 Florida law that requires gasoline to include ethanol, which a House committee passed today.

But read carefully his comments to House Democrats today. Substantively, he said, there is no effect of the repeal because a federal fuel standard will remain.

"Symbolically, it sends the wrong message for Florida about our commitment to renewable energy," he said. "So if you're saying we need to repeal this and modernize it, that's absolutely right. We do need to repeal it and modernize it to give it the flexibility that reflects the rapidly advancing technologies in renewable fuels. That's not really what's being said though. What's being said is we just need to repeal it."

Florida should make it clear to international investors, he said, that it embraces new energy technology.

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, said she was disappointed that his office took a neutral stance in the House committee earlier Tuesday. The repeal is sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz and Sen. Greg Evers.

Florida's renewables reputation matters to Putnam because his legislative agenda will be dominated by energy in 2012. Last session he acquired the state's energy office, and he plans to do more with the state's "red-headed stepchild" than entities past -- most recently the governor's office.

A "doable" energy venture for Florida, he said, may include resurrecting an incentive program for companies that invest in carbon-neutral technology. The state's earlier attempt at these awards expired before companies could take advantage of it, he said.

Putnam also thinks the Public Service Commission should consider "fuel diversity" when deciding whether to issue permits for new energy projects. A bill saying as much has been tricky to write, but the net effect would be more renewable energy for Florida, he said.

Half of Florida's electricity is generated by two natural gas pipelines, he said, leaving little diversity in the state's fuel supply.

"You wouldn't manage your investments like that," he said.

 

Comments

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George Fuller

What does Putnam know about the effect of ethanol and the economics........NOTHING

Rick

Putnam is correct. The state shouldnt repeal ethanol. Its only 10%. The federal government requires it anyway. Its a ridiculous excercise. How about just make it smarter - exempt small engines and boats.

Besides, its an American fuel. Stop buying crap from these muslim terrorist countries funding Madrasses and lets get more corn and sugar ethanol. Put the dollar in the hands of an American

Fuel-Testers

Mandatory E10 Ethanol Blending laws have absolutely nothing to do with the objectives set forth in the Renewable Fuel Standards. Rick needs to get his facts straight before forming an opinion. Nowhere in the RFS or EISA does it mandate E10 or set quotas for "ethanol". You actually clearly demonstrate what the problem is in Florida and elsewhere: The lack of a renewable energy sources (EG. Biofuels) in the market, that is an alternative fuel that can cost-effectively replace petroleum. E10 is NOT an alternative fuel and does not replace petroleum. 98% of ethanol is used as E10, and only 2% is used as E85. With the reduced MPG of E10 in conventional vehicles (often greater than 10%) it actually increases petroleum use...Add to this the pollution released from ethanol plants + petroleum required to transport ethanol, and on and on. The only reasonable conclusion is that E10 mandatory ethanol blending laws are foolish, counter-productive and will surely keep increasing our petroleum use and dependency for another 30+ years. Go buy a FFV and fill it with E85 (85% ethanol) flex-fuel or keep quiet.

Fuel-Testers

Add to above P.S. to Rick, who stated, "Its only 10%." -Rarely does E10 contain below 10% ethanol in Florida- FL is the biggest offender (since 2008) for illegally over-blending ethanol in E10 gas, often 15, 20% and even higher (profit motive due to ethanol blending tax credits, etc.). FL was one of the last states to transition to E10 but FL residents are probably the most outspoken against ethanol and seem to have a much higher than average report of engine damage from E10. California, Nebraska, here in LI NY and so many other areas have had E10 for many more years with a fraction of the problems. Whether it be due to lack of quality or oversight, FL residents NEED ethanol-free fuel. And please don't respond with nonsense like problems in FL are only because of humid environment or seasonal residents storing engines. Wake-up and realize that FL residents have earned the right to be anti-ethanol over past 3 years, and FORCING them to use E10 is only going to turn them off more to ethanol and possibly even to other renewable fuels..

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