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Ohio Transportation Budget Removes Alternative Fuel Requirement For State Vehicles

A sign for discounted E85 ethanol fuel. A requirement for alternative fuels in state vehicles has been removed from the Ohio Department of Transportation budget. gas cars
Sweeter Alternative
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A sign for discounted E85 ethanol fuel. A requirement for alternative fuels in state vehicles has been removed from the Ohio Department of Transportation budget.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) budget signed last week includes a change for the state’s vehicle fleet: the budget cuts out a requirement on alternative fuels that had been in place for most of a decade.

The ODOT budget eliminates the 2006 requirement to use a certain amount of ethanol and biodiesel in state vehicles. It’s about time, says Greg Lawson with the conservative think tank the Buckeye Institute.

“We think mandates, as a general matter, are bad things to do,” said Lawson. “What you want to see happen is you want to see the market work.”

But Sam Spofforth with Clean Fuels Ohio is disappointed.

“These are domestically available fuels, and they’re just simply good for the state’s economy,” said Spofforth.  

Spofforth says regular gas is cheaper now, but its pricing is volatile. But there were also concerns about the availability of alternative fuels; there are only 125 stations offering E85 ethanol in Ohio, and just seven with biodiesel statewide.