November 21, 2003
Energy, Science and Technology Minister Tim Sale has introduced legislation which would mandate the use of 10 per cent ethanol blends in gasoline by 2005. The program would also establish a tax preference for ethanol that is produced and consumed in Manitoba.
"We are pleased to follow through on our commitment to promote ethanol as a clean energy alternative for Manitoba," said Sale. "By promoting the use of ethanol, this legislation helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. At the same time, as a new engine of economic growth for rural Manitoba, ethanol will help to further diversify the rural economy."
The Biofuels Act is enabling legislation that would allow the province, by regulation, to require 85 per cent of gasoline sold in Manitoba to be blended with 10 per cent ethanol by September 2005. The Manitoba ethanol program would also provide a declining tax preference averaging approximately 1.5 cents per litre of gasoline that is blended with 10 per cent Manitoba-made ethanol, ending by 2013. As a result of the tax preference, consumers would not experience a price increase at the pump under the program.
Sale noted that the province is working closely with agricultural industries, grain growers, ethanol producers, fuel blenders, suppliers and local communities in developing regulations to support the use of ethanol in the province.
Earlier this year, the province announced that it had accepted all 32 recommendations of the Manitoba Ethanol Advisory Panel. In addition to mandating the use of 10 per cent ethanol blends by as early as 2005, the panel also recommended:
"Manitoba has been identified as one of the lowest cost producers of grain-based ethanol in all of North America," said Sale. "By mandating the use of ethanol, agricultural producers and local communities will be in a better position to benefit from this opportunity."
As part of the government's overall sustainability strategy, Sale and Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk recently announced the creation of the Agri-Energy Office. This new office will serve as a one-stop-shop where rural Manitobans can phone to get information on agri-energy initiatives such as bio-diesel, manure methane capture, wind power and ground source heat pumps.
The Agri-Energy Office recently sponsored the farm energy bus tour which travelled throughout Manitoba, North Dakota and Minnesota to learn more about viable farm energy projects.
Information on Manitoba's ethanol program is available from the Manitoba Ethanol Office at 204-945-EGAS (3427), toll free at 1-800-282-8069, ext. EGAS, or by e-mail at email@example.com. Additional information can also be found on the Manitoba Energy Development Initiative’s website at http://www.manitobaenergy.ca.
- 30 -