Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday issued her first veto when she rejected a bill that would prohibit the sale of fuel products that contain more than 10 percent ethanol.

In her veto message, Mills said fuel with a higher ethanol content is not currently sold in Maine and there is insufficient evidence to support claims that it adversely impacts health. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Beth O’Connor of Berwick.

“Without sufficient study, and given this fuel is not currently sold in Maine, I am not prepared for the state to declare a ban,” Mills wrote in her veto message. “However, if new and reputable scientific evidence emerges that higher levels of ethanol do in fact adversely impact health, I will be happy to revisit and reconsider this legislation.”

Although gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol is the most common type of motor vehicle fuel, the federal Environmental Protection Agency also allows the use of fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol in newer and flex-fuel vehicles.

Mills has signed 102 bills into law.


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