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Author Topic:   Ethanol-Gasoline Blended E15 Fuel at Retail Vendors
jimh posted 05-13-2015 01:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Ethanol-Gasoline Blended E15 Fuel at Retail Vendors

According to a brief article appearing in the April 2015 issue of SEAWORTHY magazine, published by BoatUS and generally a very well written periodical, the sale on the highway at retail fuel stations of ethanol-gasoline blended fuel containing 15-percent ethanol, called E15, is now occuring in a total of 16 states in the USA. The states are said to be:

--Georgia

--Kansas

--Nebraska

--South Dakota

--North Dakota

--Minnesota

--Wisconsin

--Iowa

--Tennessee

--Alabama

--North Carolina

--Michigan

--Florida

--Ohio

--Illinois

--Arkansas

(I don't understand the order of that list, but that was the order used by BoatUS.)

BoatUS cautions that if you live in a state that borders one of the 16 listed above, you might also encounter E15 fuel. Pumps that dispense E15 should be clearly marked with an EPA warning label.

The labeling of gasoline fuels at the retail pump varies from state to state. In a significant number of states, according to the website FUEL-TESTERS.COM, there are no requirements for labeling of ethanol fuels. They have compiled the following list of no-label ethanol states:

--California

--District of Columbia

--Indiana

--Kansas

--Kentucky

--Maryland

--Michigan

--Minnesota

--Missouri

--Nevada

--New Hampshire

--New Jersey

--Ohio

In the case of Michigan, the requirement to clearly label gasoline diluted with ethanol at the retain fuel pump was repealed during the administration of Governor Jennifer Granholm (Democrat), even though the Michgian Department of Agriculture (which regulates fuel sales) did not recommend the repeal. As a result of that action, Michigan retail fuel pumps have not had any labeling of E10 ethanol-gasoline since 2003, or about 12 years ago. According to the Ethanol Coalition of Michigan (ECOM) publication ECOM-NEWS, in the July 2003 issue:

quote:
Legislation exempting 10% or lesser ethanol blends from pump labeling was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives (HB 4657) 80 to 27 on May 21st and by the Michigan Senate 28 to 9 on June 26th.

The repeal of the long-standing regulations requiring clear labeling of ethanol-gasoline blended fuels was said to be for the following reasons:

quote:
...ethanol proponents have been working to repel [sic] the ethanol labeling law due to the negative perception that labels may have on the general public. It is argued that consumers view the label as a warning. (Otherwise why would it need to be labeled?) A study by Atlantic Richfield found that, “when consumers are aware that the unleaded [gasoline] is in fact gasohol they tend to shun the product.” This may be due to negative stereotypes formed in the early 80s when alcohol blended fuels were first widely distributed. The absence of motor fuel standards led to incidents of mis-blended gasoline and consequently, consumer complaints about vehicle damage. As a result of these initial problems, 12 states (including Michigan) adopted alcohol-blended fuel standards and required pump labels identifying gasoline that contained alcohol.

(Retrived from https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ewg_july03_89679_7.pdf )

However, as far as I know, blended fuels with ethanol greater than 10-percent should be labeled in Michigan, and in the case of E15, labeled in order to comply with EPA regulations. According their website, the Environmental Protection Agency has regulation in place now that govern labeling of E15 fuel. The EPA says:

quote:
[The] regulations require all E15 fuel dispensers to have a label, shown below, that informs consumers about what vehicles can, and what vehicles and equipment cannot, use E15. The rule prohibits the use of gasoline containing greater than [10-percent-by-volume] ethanol in the vehicles, engines and equipment that cannot use E15. The rule also requires [protective tranfer documents] specifying ethanol content and Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) to accompany the transfer of gasoline blended with ethanol and a survey of retail stations to help ensure compliance with labeling and ethanol content requirements.

Graphic: EPA warning label for E15
EPA warning label required for pumps dispensing E15


The E15 fuel has even become the topic of urban legends and has been investigated by the website SNOPES.COM. See

http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/e15.asp

jimh posted 05-13-2015 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A survey of readers may be interesting. Have you seen any retail fuel pumps in one of the 16 states listed above showing the EPA-required E15 label?

I will answer my own survey: I have not seen one in Michigan.

jcdawg83 posted 05-13-2015 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
I have not seen any in Georgia. However, I would guess it would show up in the Atlanta metro area (also known as hell on Earth) first and I don't live in that area.
weekendwarrior posted 05-14-2015 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
I am in south Florida and as of today have not seen any E15 labels. I'm sure it's coming... :(
jimh posted 05-15-2015 07:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the two reports of sightings or non-sighting of E15 ethanol-gasoline blended fuel at retail fuel stations. I hope more readers participate.
jimh posted 05-15-2015 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Using the facilities of a website dedicated to assisting in locating ethanol fuel retailers,

http://www.ethanolretailer.com/flex-fuel-station-finder

it appears to me that in Michigan there are only about a half-dozen retailers selling E15 fuel. These retailers tend to be located at intersections of secondary roads in rural counties, and they are far from any major population centers or major highways. In my own case, I would have to drive hundreds of miles out of my way to get to any of the E15 retailers listed on the ethanol fuel station website. If the resources of that website are accurate, it is very unlikely I will encounter any fuel retailer selling E15 in my normal travels in Michigan.

Hoosier posted 05-15-2015 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
[Reported about stations selling E85 fuel. Thanks for the report on E85, but I am not interested in reports of E85. E85 has been widely available for many years in the midwest of the USA. My interest here is in E15.--jimh]

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