State Official Says No Ethanol Mandate Needed
The House Transportation Committee has deferred House Bill 10-89 to the 41st day of the session-the measure, introduced by Democrat Mitch Fargen of Flandreau, mandated bulk purchases of fuel by state agencies to be some sort of ethanol blend. Jeff Holden with the State Bureau of Administration spoke against the bill. He says the state already looks to buy ethanol fuels whenever possible, to save on costs.
Holden further told the committee, "Keeping that in mind-since calendar year 2002, the South Dakota Department of Transportation has increased its annual purchases of ethanol, from 166 thousand, 765 gallons, which was 11 percent of our total gasoline purchases then, to one-point-eight million gallons in 2011, calendar year 2011, or 77 percent of our total gasoline purchases. Last year when I was here, we were at 71 percent. So, just in this past year we've gone up six percent on our purchases of ethanol-blended fuels."
Weldon says since the state already buys so much ethanol, a mandate isn't necessary. The bill's sponsor, Democrat Mitch Fargen of Flandreau, says it would send a message of support to ethanol producers.
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