Pilot action has turned the tide on Washington State ethanol-in-gasoline legislation. As originally drafted, both Senate and House versions would have required all automobile gasoline sold in the state to be blended with ethanol, making it unsafe and illegal to use in aircraft flying with autogas supplemental type certificates (STCs).
AOPA supported local pilots who operate using the autogas STC by contacting bill sponsors and the Washington governor's office. The association explained the problems the bill would cause aircraft owners and gave committee staff examples of alternate legislation.
The bill has been amended in the House to require only a small percentage of all gasoline sold in the state to be blended with ethanol. Sources in the Senate report that the Senate will concur with the House amendments and that Governor Christine Gregoire is likely to sign the bill as amended.
Washington is not the only state to look toward this more environmentally friendly blended fuel. AOPA, as it has already done in Montana, Idaho, and Missouri, and has under way in Iowa, will continue to advocate for the availability of motor gas without ethanol for use in aircraft.
March 2, 2006