The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a fifty-percent increase in ethanol content of consumer gasoline for newer vehicles. But the people who sell our vehicle fuels don’t think we’ll see it anytime soon.
Missouri law requires a 10 percent ethanol mix in our gasoline if the price is the same as or lower than unblended fuels.. It’s not clear what the EPA’s approval of a 15 percent mixture means in relation to the law.
But the head of the association that represents gas stations and convenience stores says the new policy raises several questions for his industry. Executive Director Ron Leone says there are questions for consumers, too. “What impact will it have on the engine warranties for specific cars?” he asks. He says current warranties on non-flex fuel vehicles only go up to ten percent blends.
He says changes to gas pumps and underground storage so gas stations can ump E15 are likely to cost tens of thousands of dollars that stations can’t afford.
He says it’s a step toward further cutting dependence on foreign oil. But it’s in the wrong order.