May 2, 2007
On behalf of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (“OPEI”) and a coalition of concerned manufacturers and trade associations, Kelley Drye Environmental attorney William M. Guerry, Jr. teamed with members of the firm’s Government Relations and Public Policy group to expand the scope of an important study on the feasibility of ethanol fuel consumption.
By a voice vote, the Senate Energy committee unanimously agreed to add an amendment, proposed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), to Section 302 of the “Biofuels for Energy Security” Bill (S. 987).
“This is the first step toward generating the information needed to fill critical data gaps in this multi-faceted national dialogue,” said Mr. Guerry. “EPA, the Energy Department, and other federal agencies must fully protect the environment, consumers, and manufacturers of off-road engines, vehicles, and equipment from the unintended, adverse consequences that could undermine the future market for ethanol fuels.”
The amendment requires the Energy Secretary, in conjunction with the EPA Administrator and the Secretaries of Agriculture and Transportation, to study the environmental and economic impacts of “mid-level” blends of ethanol gasoline (ethanol levels between 10% and 40%). The amendment also calls for an evaluation of the potential impacts of these fuels on consumers; their boats, vehicles, off-road engines and equipment; and the retail fuel market.
“We have been and continue to be part of the solution to creating a better environment,” stated Bill Harley, president and CEO of OPEI. “We all want to carefully gain the public trust and not inadvertently injure the environment or poison the long-term consumer market for ethanol fuel blends.”
The Senate plans to vote on S. 987 in early June.