Ethanol-Blend Deadline Criticized
But, fuel business leaders say rushing to meet that proposed deadline is unreasonably expensive.
Magellan Pipelines ships fuel to 10 holding tanks across the state, but only three are prepared to blend ethanol fuel before loading it into trucks for distribution.
But, under the proposal, Magellan would have to add seven ethanol holding tanks, a process the company says is expensive and time-consuming.
"Those types of systems are necessary at petroleum terminals because we don't currently transport our ethanol and ethanol blends through our pipeline system," said Bruce Heine. "So, that's why we need the additional time to be able to make the investment and to have the systems ready to go to ensure the consumers get quality products that are blended correctly."
So Magellan, and other fuel companies in the state, are asking the legislature for more time.
"Until our ethanol production meets or exceeds what we need for a 10% mandate, then we are going to have a real problem meeting that demand and we're going to have the potential for huge price hikes at the pump, so that's number-one," said Ron Leone of the Missouri Petroleum and Convenience Store Association.
But, time's not the only problem; supply isn't there either.
Missouri can produce only about 110 million gallons of ethanol fuel a year. To meet the standards of the proposed mandate, the state would have to triple that.
Although there are three new ethanol plants being built in the state, they won't be ready for at least two years. Supporters of the legislation say they would consider exemptions for work not finished by Jan. 1, 2007, when the proposed bill would take effect.