Alternative Fuels Australia

Howard: No federal mandate for ethanol

Posted by Car Geek on May 18, 2007

Australia’s Prime Minister, John Howard, has today ruled out the possibility of federally requiring the use of ethanol in fuel. This comes only days after NSW’s decision to mandate the use of E2 in its petrol stations. Mr Howard said “while the government would continue to encourage the use of ethanol blends, it was not good to deny people choice, particularly when there was ongoing debate about the effect of ethanol blends on engines”, citing a report released earlier this year which found that 60 per cent of Australia’s cars are suitable for use with E10. E10, a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% unleaded petrol, is becoming increasingly common in Australian independent petrol stations but is yet to make a significant showing in the major petrol chains of many states.

Analysis: Howard’s hesitance towards mandating ethanol use is understandable, but appears to be based in politics more than the science he is using as the reason here. E2 is safe for nearly all vehicles that run on unleaded, which is to be expected given NSW’s recent push for it, and even E10 should be more encouraged given that over half of Australian cars that can use it, don’t. Given the benefits that sugar cane farmers can reap from an increase in ethanol production, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the National party start to push more for it in the near future.

(Source: Herald Sun)

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One Response to “Howard: No federal mandate for ethanol”

  1. karan said

    this is interesting for the fact that a couple of years ago Howard was putting government subsidies into the development of Ethanol production from sugar cane (or sugar cane waste, I can’t remember which). This was controversial because he had some link to those of benefit – i can’t remember the link now – so it’s interesting to see that he won’t push it to some extent…

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