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Ontario to raise ethanol blending mandate from 5% to 10%

The government of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is raising its ethanol blending mandate from 5% to 10%, as part of its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport fuels.

In a notice issued this week, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said it would amend its ethanol-in-gasoline regulation to increase blending requirements to 10% by 2020. It will also provide incentives for emerging technologies such as renewable gasoline and bio-crude.

“By 2020, the proposed actions are projected to result in greenhouse gas pollution reductions that are equivalent to taking up to 130,000 cars off our roads each year, and up to 300,000 cars off our roads each year by 2030,” Ministry Spokesman Gary Wheeler said.

The move comes as the federal government works on its own clean-fuel standard, which is expected to include incentives for higher ethanol use in gasoline and perhaps an increased federal mandate, which is currently at 5%.

The move to require lower GHG emissions from fuel will provide a competitive advantage for Ontario ethanol producers over their U.S. competitors in the Midwest, who rely on carbon-intensive, coal-fired power to produce ethanol.

Canadian ethanol reduces GHGs by 62% compared with gasoline, according to lobby group Renewable Industries Canada, which is urging the federal government to incorporate a higher mandate on its planned clean-fuel standard.