Holcomb Vetoes Bill Requiring Label On E15 Gasoline

Apr 27, 2021

A Shell gas station pump (Rayson Ho/Wikimedia Commons)

Gov. Eric Holcomb has vetoed a law that would require gasoline with 15 percent ethanol to be labeled at the pump. E15 gas can harm the engines of cars built before 2001, as well as some motorcycles, boats and lawnmowers.

Holcomb said the Environmental Protection Agency already requires E15 to be labeled and called Senate Enrolled Act 303 an “unnecessary and confusing” additional layer of government.

But the EPA may not require these labels for long. In January, under the Trump administration, the agency proposed modifying or removing the label on E15 gas to “provide additional opportunity for E15 within the fuels marketplace.” The EPA suggested that because many people are driving cars newer than 2001, it’s time to reevaluate whether the E15 label is necessary.

Ethanol manufacturers have said the law is the oil industry’s attempt to reduce competition from biofuels at the pump.

Ethanol has been touted as a more climate-friendly alternative to traditional gasoline. But ethanol mandates haven’t had a big impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental activists said the need to grow more corn has led to the destruction of wildlife habitats.

Contact reporter Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.