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Hawaii EAAers Push To Include Aircraft Fuel In State Ethanol Exemption Bill


February 28, 2007 — The Hawaii state legislature this week takes up debate on HB 791, a bill that would require fuel refiners to make ethanol-free fuel available at marine fueling stations for recreational and commercial boats. EAA members in Hawaii are attempting to also ensure ease of access to recreational and general aviation activities by broadening the proposed legislation to also include airport fueling stations. This would protect aircraft with a supplementary type certificate (STC) to use auto fuel, along with aircraft that have automobile engines, and ultralight vehicles that require ethanol-free fuel.

The bill recognizes a fact that has been stressed by EAA, the FAA, and others for many years: that ethanol-blended fuels can harm small engines, especially aircraft fuel systems.

EAA has been working closely with Terri Thomas, president of EAA Chapter 1182, on proposing the alternate bill language that would include aircraft. She will present a letter from EAA to Robert Herkes, chairman of the House Consumer Protection & Commerce (CPC) Committee, when the CPC discusses HB 791 this week.

In the letter, EAA applauds the state for recognizing that ethanol-blended gasoline is having a negative impact on marine engines and other small gasoline-driven tools. ?At the same time, we are writing to express our grave concern that House Bill 791 will overlook other recreational vehicles that utilize small engines that are suffering the same operational hazards as marine vehicles.?

Modifying the bill language will reduce the current problems of locating ethanol free fuels and help reduce the cost of unnecessary engine repairs caused by ethanol-blended fuels. An e-Alert distributed Monday, February 26, EAA Government Programs asked the state?s 1,100-plus EAAers to join EAA Chapter 1182 in the effort to reduce this barrier to safe and efficient flight.

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