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Welch Reintroduces Legislation to Reform Federal Ethanol Mandate

March 23, 2015
Press Release

At Frank’s Motorcycle Sales and Service in Essex Junction, Representative Peter Welch announced the reintroduction of bipartisan legislation that would reform the federal requirement to blend biofuels, such as corn ethanol, into gasoline. The RFS Reform Act (H.R. 704) would repeal the mandate to blend corn based ethanol into gasoline which results in serious damage to small engines.  He was joined by Lester Pelkey, the owner of Frank’s Motorcycles, and Shane Prisby with the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers who provided their perspectives on the effect of corn-ethanol on snowmobile engines.

“The requirement to blend corn ethanol into gasoline has been a well-intended flop,” said Welch. “It’s wreaking havoc on small engines across the country, including the engines of snowmobiles.  Ask any mechanic and you’ll get an earful on the serious damage being done to the engines of snowmobiles, chainsaws and boats.  The mandate is also driving up feed prices which is hurting our farmers and contributing to increased food prices. My legislation has broad bipartisan support and would end this misguided policy.”

The RFS Reform Act (HR704) is a three-pronged approach that:

·         Caps the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline at 10% or “E10”;

·         Repeals the mandate for corn based ethanol;

·         Encourages the use of alternative advanced biofuels.

Rep. Peter Welch is a Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over energy policy.  The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), and Steve Womack (R-AR).