Governor Mills Vetoes LD 822

May 2, 2019

Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has vetoed LD 822, An Act to Prohibit the Sale of Motor Fuel Containing More Than 10 Percent Ethanol. The bill would prohibit the sale of motor fuel products in Maine that contain ethanol greater than 10 percent unless the sale of such fuel is in a sealed container that contains one quart or less of the motor fuel. It also repeals a contingent prohibition on the sale of motor fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume.

In vetoing the legislation, Governor Mills noted that “E15 is not currently sold in Maine, and, as of now, there is insufficient scientific evidence or data to support the claim that it adversely impacts health.” A 2017 study (PDF) conducted jointly by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Environmental Protection concluded that “there does not appear to be any significant health impacts from the widespread use of E10 gasoline. The potential health impacts of fuel with much higher blends of ethanol have been less well studied.”

“Without sufficient study, and given this fuel is not currently sold in Maine, I am not prepared for the state to declare a ban,” wrote Governor Mills in her veto message.“However, if new and reputable scientific evidence emerges that higher levels of ethanol in fuel do in fact adversely impact health, I will be happy to revisit and reconsider this legislation. For these reasons, I return LD 822 unsigned and vetoed.”

Although gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol, or E10, is the most common type of motor vehicle fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal EPA also allows the use of motor fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol in 2001 model year and newer passenger and flex-fuel vehicles. The use of E15 is prohibited in older light-duty motor vehicles, and all heavy-duty gasoline vehicles and engines, motorcycles and gasoline-powered equipment such as lawn and garden equipment and boats. 

LD 822 is Governor Mills’ first veto. To date, Governor Mills has signed 102 bills into law.

A complete copy of Governor Mills’ veto message is attached (PDF). Additionally, Governor Mills has signed the following bills into law: