Gas, Ethanol Mix Fuels Debate in 6th District Race

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Byline: Eric Krol Daily Herald Political Writer

On a day when drivers were paying near-record prices to fill up, gasoline took the forefront in the 6th Congressional District race.

Democratic nominee Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates proposed a federal law requiring big oil companies to sell E-85 fuel at 10 percent of their gas stations. E-85 is an alternative fuel made from corn that contains 15 percent unleaded gasoline.

"To increase the use of this fuel, which is cheaper than gas and better for the environment, we need to make it more available to American drivers," said Duckworth at a news conference at the Road Ranger gas station on Roosevelt Road in Lombard.

The campaign manager for Republican nominee Peter Roskam, a state senator from Wheaton, dismissed Duckworth's suggestion as "a nice proposal," saying it "falls short."

Roskam campaign manager Ryan McLaughlin cited legislation Roskam voted for in the state Senate this year to buttress his argument. McLaughlin claimed the legislation would have required all gasoline sold at the pump in Illinois to contain "a 15 percent ethanol blend."

But Senate Bill 2236 actually says nothing about the blend of ethanol. …