This was posted in a blog by a fuel retailer (let's just say from the upper midwest)
Message Posted: Jun 4, 2013 11:17:49 AM
As a retail fuel station owner, I’ve noticed a lot of reports about rising gas prices in the news. Most of the stories include some reference to an ethanol “blend wall,” which oil companies say makes it impossible for them to blend enough ethanol into gas to meet regulations without being forced to sell fuel blends that “no station owner wants to sell, and no motorists want to buy.”
E15 is the fuel blend mentioned in most, if not all of those stories, and I am writing to take issue with all of those news reports. I am a station owner who already sells E15, and so many customers want to buy it that it is already the second best-selling fuel in my station.
I started selling E15 soon after the EPA approved it in vehicles 2001 and newer. The fuel is accurately labeled and marked so my customers know exactly what they are getting when fueling up with E15. Selling E15 makes good business sense because I’m offering a fuel that is partially made by my neighbors, helping support local jobs and giving customers a chance to save money at the pump.
Since offering E15 for sale last year, I have noticed that consumers quickly become comfortable going beyond 10 percent ethanol, and they appreciate the lower price that E15 offers drivers. I was confident in the quality of E15, given several years and 6 million miles of federal testing and knowing that NASCAR uses E15 every week. There isn’t a much tougher test than that. As further proof, contrary to what ethanol opponents would like consumers to believe about E15, since offering E15 for sale, I have had zero complaints and have not had to pay for a single vehicle repair.
Recently, I was invited to talk to congressional staffers about selling E15, and they seemed surprised to hear my real-world experience offering E15 to customers is not what oil industry lobbyists had been telling them. I also told the group that there is no such thing as a 10 percent blend wall unless petroleum marketers refuse to give their customers a choice. In my station, my monthly sales show a minimum of 18 percent ethanol overall, and a maximum of 28 percent —and we hit those percentages month after month, even with my station offering ethanol-free gas. Given the choice, customers usually choose more ethanol
Unfortunately, those percentages might change during the next few months because outdated EPA regulations say I can offer E15 for flex-fuel customers only from June until mid-September. I am hopeful that those rules soon are updated so my customers can continue to buy E15 and save money year-round.
I urged the people I met in Washington, D.C., and I urge everyone else, to learn the truth about E15 fuel and ethanol. I want other station owners to rest assured that E15 is tested and proved safe, and that offering more choices to your customers is a good thing for their bottom line. And I want consumers to know that if they choose E15, it will work well in vehicles that are approved to use it, and it will save them money at the pump, help the environment and support domestic jobs and farmers.