A sponsor of the ethanol-mandate bill expects the recent spike in the price of ethanol-blended fuel to recede by the time the mandate begins. Governor Blunt concludes his two-day tour announcing his signing of the ethanol legislation today. House sponsor, Representative Bob Behnen (R-Kirksville), says it makes economic sense to mandate that nearly all gas sold in Missouri contain at least ten-percent ethanol. He says new clean air rules are forcing cities in the East to switch from MTBE to ethanol to meet anti-pollution standards, but that switch has tightened ethanol supplies and driven up prices. MFA Oil recently increased the price of the ethanol-blended gasoline it sells at its Break Time Convenience Stores two cents higher than unleaded, regular gasoline. The company says tighter supplies of ethanol forced the action. Behnen says it’s a temporary situation that will be eased once more ethanol plants come on line and production meets demand. He expects ethanol prices to come down before the mandate begins in January of 2008. If ethanol-blended fuels cost more than regular gasoline, the mandate does not take effect.
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