Ethanol is a 'scapegoat': biofuel group
Ethanol producers have accused the NRMA and the petroleum industry of running a scare campaign against the fuel, and called for mandatory content labelling of all transport fuels.
The Australian Biofuels Association (ABA), which represents ethanol producers, was responding to a campaign led by the NRMA for a 10 per cent cap on ethanol in petrol, saying it could damage car engines and void warranties.
The Federal Government has also been urged to force service stations to disclose how much ethanol is added to petrol after surveys showing at some outlets petrol is diluted by up to 20 per cent.
The ABA said that while petrol/ethanol blends significantly reduced toxic gas emissions, other additives were a danger to the environment and public health.
"Setting one standard for biofuels and another for petroleum fuels would be stupid," said the ABA president, Bob Gordon.
"Fuel substitution is a major problem with a wide range of harmful and illegal additives such as kerosene, paint thinners, methylated spirits, methanol and petroleum industry products.
"Unfortunately, representatives of the petroleum industry and the NRMA have sought to make ethanol the scapegoat for fuel-related problems."
Mr Gordon said that petrol additives 1-3 butadiene and benzene could cause cancer, toluene was a known poison, and xylene and olefins contributed to smog.
The Prime Minister, John Howard, has said the Government will wait on another inquiry before deciding whether to introduce a cap on the amount of ethanol in petrol.
Ethanol can be produced from sugar cane and the Government is also considering a mandated level of ethanol in petrol in a bid to help the struggling sugar industry.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.