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Sun May 12, 2019, 04:39 AM

Most Maine House Democrats flip to sustain Janet Mills' first veto

AUGUSTA, Maine — Most Democrats in the Maine House of Representatives reversed themselves on Thursday to uphold the first veto from Gov. Janet Mills, spiking a proposed ban on the sale of a blend of gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol.

The Democratic-led House fell four votes shy of overriding the veto of a bill from Rep. Beth O’Connor, R-Berwick, aimed at banning the sale of a blend of 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol that is federally approved for use in vehicles with 2001 model years or newer.

That blend — known by the nickname of E15 — isn’t being sold in Maine now, but a group that lobbies for the ethanol industry told the Legislature that Cumberland Farms, a Massachusetts-based regional chain of convenience stores with more than 40 locations in Maine, is planning to introduce it. E10, a blend with up to 10 percent ethanol, represents 95 percent of gasoline sold in the country.

Ethanol, a grain-based alcohol, is controversial. Federal subsidies to increase consumption have been criticized by both environmental and libertarian groups. A 2007 study from Stanford University found that a blend of fuel with 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline would reduce two types of carcinogens in air, but increase two others and lead to more smog.

Read more: https://bangordailynews.com/2019/05/09/politics/most-maine-house-democrats-flip-to-sustain-janet-mills-first-veto/

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