Hawaii EAAers' Ethanol Efforts Make More Progress
April 4 , 2007 — EAAers in Hawaii scored another victory Tuesday as the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Affordable Housing Committee approved legislation that would exempt premium auto fuel from the state?s 10 percent ethanol mandate. EAA Chapter 1182 President Terri Thomas, who with EAA?s help has made lawmakers in both the House and Senate aware of ethanol/aircraft incompatibilities, attended the committee meeting. The unanimous (6-0) vote sent House Bill 791 HD1 to the state Senate floor.
?We need 13 senators to approve,? Thomas said, referring to the 25-member state senate. If that happens--and it may occur within the next few days--the bill gets sent back to the House for consideration of the senate?s amended version, followed by possible House-Senate conference committee before advancing to the governor?s desk.
A state law in effect since April 2006 requires that 85 percent of all gasoline sold in Hawaii contains at least 10 percent ethanol. However, the state?s two oil refineries, Chevron and Tesoro, reconfigured their operations to produce lower-octane gasoline needed for blending with ethanol. Both currently include the ethanol in 99 percent of their gasoline. The only locations where non-ethanol gasoline is readily available are the islands of Lanai and Molokai.
If the law exempting premium fuel passes, Hawaii would become the fifth state to specifically exempt premium auto fuel from laws to include renewable fuel additives, such as ethanol. The others are Idaho, Missouri, Montana, and Washington. EAA provided similar information regarding incompatibility of ethanol to its members in those states.