Governor’s veto of ethanol warning upheld by Indiana Senate

The Indiana Senate narrowly upheld a veto that Gov. Eric Holcomb issued last year on a bill that would have required additional labeling for fuel pumps distributing E15, a fuel blend that contains up to 15% ethanol in gasoline.

Senators voted 26-24 on Thursday to sustain the veto despite arguments from bill sponsor Sen. Mark Messmer of Jasper that the labels were needed to warn drivers about possible damage the fuel blend could cause to engines in older cars and other equipment.

Holcomb wrote in his veto message last spring that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already mandates all E15 pumps have warning stickers and called having a state requirement “unnecessary and confusing.”

The Indiana Ethanol Producers Association called the bill anti-ethanol and anti-fuel choice, saying it was concerned the state warning would discourage E15 sales.

The Senate vote was held open for several minutes with a tie vote on the veto possible as Sen. Jeff Raatz of Richmond was absent from the Senate chamber. Some cheers greeted Raatz’s arrival and he voted to uphold the governor’s veto.

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