Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: When Will the Repealed Ethanol Fuel Law Go into Effect?

December 7, 2015, 9:17 AM HST
* Updated December 7, 9:20 AM
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Central Maui gas pump, file photo by Wendy Osher.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Aloha Mayor,

Q: I read that Hawai‘i passed a law this summer repealing the state requirement for ethanol in our gasoline, but haven’t heard or seen anything more about it at the pumps. I know this is a state issue, but it affects all of us drivers in Maui County, so I’m wondering if you might know when this law goes into effect, and what it means for those of us who have never liked the performance-altering effects of ethanol-mixture fuel. Mahalo.

A: SB717, which was signed into law by Gov. David Ige on July 1, 2015, repeals the state mandate of 10% ethanol in gasoline sold locally. It takes effect on Dec. 31, 2015. While it removes the requirement to sell blended gasoline, it does not make it illegal to do so, so fuel retailers still have the option of selling ethanol-blended fuel.

The state’s ethanol fuel requirement and accompanying tax credit programs were originally introduced years ago to attract alternative fuel producers to Hawai‘i, but over time, it was evident the program was not achieving the results that lawmakers had anticipated.

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In the meantime, electric vehicles have risen in popularity and new technologies are in development; both options can provide alternative means of reduced fossil fuel consumption.

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Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

 

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