Maine is located in the upper northeast corner of the continental US, but the state is thinking throw itself smack-dab in the middle of the controversy involving sales of gasoline blends with higher percentages of corn-based ethanol. The Pine Tree State's Department of Environmental Protection is mulling over writing a bill that would ban public sales of gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol, the Bangor Daily News says.
Some Maine regulators are expressing concern that gasoline blends with 15-percent ethanol, i.e. E15, could potentially damage engines of both light-duty and recreational vehicles. Granted, Maine would only enact the ban if at least two other New England states do the same because going it alone would force Maine refiners to produce a custom blend for the state only, and such a "boutique blend," the newspaper says, could cause Maine's gas prices to jump.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) legalized public sales of E15 last June in part as a way to reduce foreign-oil dependency. Since then, the EPA has been under fire from a variety of entities ranging from environmentalists to auto groups who fear engine damage and voided warranties as well as environmental damage and food shortages spurred by the additional demand for corn.