AOPA is opposing a bill in the Idaho legislature that would create a new fuel standard requiring motor vehicle gasoline to contain at least 10 percent ethanol. The problem with SB 1364 is that it only "authorizes" instead of "requires" the sale of non-blended gasoline. AOPA believes that it would make it difficult - if not impossible - for aircraft owners who have supplemental type certificates permitting auto fuel use to obtain gas without the ethanol content. Alcohol (ethanol is grain alcohol) can cause serious corrosion in aircraft engines. It can also attack some of the components used in aircraft fuel systems, including fuel bladders. It attracts water, which can lead to unexpected engine failure. Similar legislation was introduced in Montana last year, and legislators amended the bill to require - rather than simply authorize - gasoline retailers and wholesale bulk distributors to sell non-ethanol-blended high-octane gasoline. AOPA has asked the House Environmental, Energy, and Technology Committee to amend the bill in the same manner.
March 3, 2006