“The bill eliminates the unnecessary power of the government to force Florida citizens to buy and sell ethanol blended gasoline,” Evers said in a statement this afternoon. “It returns that power to the people and restores the power of the free market by giving consumers and retailers a choice regarding what fuel they wish to buy.”
While Evers—along with Rep. Matt Gaetz, with his HB 4001 in the House—are pleased with the repeal of Florida’s ethanol mandate, the move has its critics. The Senator’s statement of victory was followed shortly with a joint statement from Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, and Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.
“Today’s Senate vote was a pyrrhic victory for ethanol detractors. It substantively changes nothing because the state mandate was redundant. The federal Renewable Fuel Standard will still apply and, thankfully for consumers who will continue to see savings at the pump, ethanol and other renewable fuels will be sold in Florida,” the statement read. “All this bill has done is put politics and oil industry profits ahead of economic opportunity and jobs in the state. The only result of this legislation will be a loss of jobs and economic opportunity in Florida. Florida has made it clear — biofuels and the valuable jobs that are created in the renewable fuels industry are no longer welcome in Florida.”