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Tallahassee Democrat: Letter: Ethanol policy can create some unnecessary costs

Thursday, February 06, 2014

For more than 75 years, the Florida Transportation Builders Association has worked to protect all aspects of the road and bridge building industry. Outdated federal policy is causing concern as it impacts FTBA members and consumers across Florida.

The current Renewable Fuel Standard mandate requires a problematic amount of ethanol to be added to our gasoline, causing damage to engines and raising costs for consumers. FTBA stands behind a philosophy of creating responsible and sensible public policy that enables Florida’s economy to thrive.

Ethanol can be a quality additive in the right amounts in appropriate vehicles; however, E15 is not suitable for use in heavy vehicles, which we use for our various construction projects.

Prolonged usage of E15 can lead to total engine failure. Maintenance and replacement of engine parts from the usage of an inefficient and damaging fuel source is both expensive and unnecessary. It strains all businesses and industries across Florida, burdening our state’s job creators.

This federal energy policy is costly and irrational, increasing spending and leading us toward a heightened financial burden for our nation’s families and businesses.

Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to lower the volumes mandated for renewable fuels.

As a short-term solution, this has our full support, but more thoughtful reform is needed if we are to prevent the negative impacts of this policy in the future

Bob Burleson

President, Florida Transportation Builders Association

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