If it can go in your gas tank, it's potentially controversial up in Maine. A few years ago, out-of-spec gas pumps were a problem. Today, the issue is the corn-based biofuel ethanol, which the state legislature is taking a strong stand against. Citing potential engine and environmental damages, Maine's state legislature has taken another step to potential rid itself of ethanol blends into its gasoline inventory.
Legislators have approved a bill by more than a 3-to-1 margin that would ban ethanol blends in Maine – as long as two other nearby states do the same, the Bangor Daily News reports. State leaders also supported a resolution urging the government to ban gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend (known as E15), altogether. Most gasoline in the US contains up to 10 percent ethanol blend.
Maine regulators started talking about a statewide E15 ban early this year. The state said at the time that at least two other New England states would have to go along so that Maine refiners wouldn't have to make a custom blend for the state only, which would cause the state's fuel prices to jump.
On the federal level, the word is that E15 is fine. Last June, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially allowed for public sales of E15 as part of an effort to cut foreign-oil dependency. Groups such as AAA have since been critical of the EPA's decision, saying that E15 would cause engine damage as well as food shortages. E15 has been sold in some states since the middle of 2012, starting in Kansas, and there have not been any widespread reports of problems with the biofuel but it's not being sold just like any other fuel.