Wednesday morning, South Dakota House Bill 1216, “a bill to open up franchise agreements to ethanol blends” passed through the Senate Transportation Committee with a vote of 7-0.
The bipartisan bill from Representative Mitch Fargen and Senator Russell Olson was brought forward after gas station owners were unable to install blender pumps because of franchise agreements after attempting to use grant money from state legislation passed in 2010.
“We are going to tell companies outside of our state they can no longer prohibit South Dakota owned franchises from selling ethanol,” said the bills co-sponsor, Senator Russell Olson. “This bill truly puts South Dakota first…and helps to free up our dependence on foreign oil.”
“We ran into places that were unable to install blender pumps because of their franchise agreements,” said Representative, Mitch Fargen, the bill’s prime sponsor. “This year the governor has a bill to expand the blender pumps program and we needed to do something with franchise agreement to give them the option of installing blender pumps across the state with the option of selling blends like E15, E30 and other various blends.”
“We are not requiring or mandating blender pumps, if you want to participate in the program, you can,” said, Harry Christianson of the Ethanol Producers of South Dakota. “It’s good for South Dakota, it’s good for the ethanol industry and it’s good for agriculture.”
HB 1216 now moves to the Senate Chamber.