Rick Scott Signs Ethanol Bill Repealing Required Percentage Statute

State Rep. Matt Gaetz's long quest to repeal a requirement that gasoline sold in Florida contain some percentage of the supplement ethanol is over.

Legislation that began as H.B. 4001 was signed late Friday by Gov. Rick Scott.

The new law repeals a five-year-old statute requiring all state service stations to sell gasoline containing an established percentage of ethanol.

"It's one more mandate off the books," Gaetz said.

Service stations can continue to sell gas containing ethanol if they wish, Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, said.

Gaetz has been battling to win the ethanol repeal since he gained his seat in the state House in 2010.

He said the effort has been the one he's undertaken as a state lawmaker that has remained most popular with constituents.

"The movement for freedom at the pump just got a full tank of gas," he said.

Last year Gaetz succeeded in neutering the 2008 law mandating ethanol use by getting legislation passed saying businesses could not be sanctioned for selling ethanol-free gasoline.

"We still have the mandate, but you don't get in trouble for violating it," he said earlier this year in announcing his plans to again launch a campaign for repeal.

State Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, sponsored the Senate version of the repeal bill.

"Big news," Evers said Friday. "It's a great thing for all the residents of Florida."

Evers said the new law could even lower prices at the pump.

"Hopefully, it will allow jobbers and distributors to bring more unblended fuel in and make it more accessible for older cars, small engines and boats," he said. "Hopefully, it will even lower the cost of unblended fuel."

Contact Daily News Staff Writer Tom McLaughlin at 850-315-4435 or Follow him on Twitter @TomMnwfdn. ___

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