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Pro-ethanol bill stalled in Congress


WASHINGTON (WSAU) A U-S House committee has voted to slow down the process of adding more ethanol to gasoline. Menomonee Falls Republican Jim Sensenbrenner has drafted a bill to require a comprehensive scientific review of fuels containing more than 10-percent ethanol – and the House Science Committee that he chairs endorsed the bill on a 19-to-7 vote yesterday.

The E-P-A is scheduled to decide this spring whether to allow the sale of “E-15,” a fuel that ethanol advocates say has already been proven safe for car engines. But Sensenbrenner disagrees, claiming that E-15 is quote, “downright dangerous” for small engines. And he says that if it’s really the fuel of the future, advocates should have no problem with an independent scientific analysis of the product. They say the tests that Sensenbrenner wants have already been done – and they accuse him of holding up E-15 so oil companies can profit from smaller amounts of ethanol in their products.

Advocates say E-15 would be clearly labeled at the pump, so drivers of small older cars don’t put it in by mistake. Gary Kramer of Badger State Ethanol in Monroe says all his industry wants to give consumers a choice.