More Florida Gas Stations May Soon Offer Ethanol-Free Fuel

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It's springtime and that means Floridians can soon expect to break out their lawnmowers and weedwackers. To power that equipment, they'll need gasoline, which right now could contain 10% or less ethanol. It's an additive that can do a lot of damage especially to smaller engines.

"It does some bad things like attract moisture and causes corrosion," said Callaway Lawn Equipment Manager Trey Trzeciak.

Trzeciak told NewsChannel 7 as much as 70% of his business is ethanol-related.

"It damages your fuel lines, your fuel tanks if you have a metal tank, and especially your carborator."

Warmer weather also means more boats on the water. Local boat captain Larry Lemieux said he spent $3,500 to rebuild his boat's engine after ethanol severely damaged it.

"One of the cylinders got hot on me and exploded. The blockages it creates in the fuel line as well as the carborator was the whole problem."

Representatives Matt Gaetz and Keith Perry introduced the bill in the Senate this legislative session. On Monday it passed the Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee by a 7-0 vote.

Over in the House, an identical bill passed the Energy and Utilities Subcommittee in February and the Regulatory Affairs Committee last month.

Ethanol-free gasoline is more expensive and allowing gas stations not to carry it altogether could mean significantly higher prices at the pump, but those directly affected said they're willing to pay more.

"I've not had any problems, knock on wood, since I've gone to ethanol-free fuel," said Lemieux.

If passed by the House and Senate then signed into law by Governor Rick Scott,, the bill would go into effect July 1st.

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