Death of Ethanol Free Gas in PA

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Ethanol-free gas running on fumes Drivers seek stations selling conventional fuel, paying more to get better mileage. But those outlets are getting hard to find. Sunday News Jul 24, 2010 18:45 EST ArticlePhotosMapRelatedDon't Link Tags By JON RUTTER, Staff Writer Media Center A sign at John's Gulf, 517 Union St., advertises gasoline that does not contain ethanol. Related Topics gasoline (102) fuel (84) gas prices (72) ethanol (53) gas mileage (7) American Petroleum Ins... (2) Related Stories Tilting at windmills Spend to save Turkey Hill unveils gas reward p... As fuel demand falls, ethanol su... Big rise in gas prices may soon ... Atif Shabbir always fills up his Honda at the Terre Hill Mart on Main Street. For one thing, he manages the place. For another, it's one of the few stations around still offering ethanol-free gas. "Customers like this," he said. So does he. "We never carried ethanol gas" after it became widely available a few years ago, Shabbir added. "I get better mileage" with ethanol-free gas. At least eight other stations in the county still dispense ethanol-free. But a federal mandate to use more and more biofuel is gradually driving conventional gasoline out of the picture. Some refineries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are reportedly phasing out straight-gas production in two months. After Sept. 15, said a manager at Petroleum Products Corporation, which has a supply terminal in Lancaster, finding a service station that sells the liquid will be harder. The prospect dismays ethanol-free fans, including some hot rodders and motorcyclists. The nationally averaged cost of a gallon of regular, 10-percent ethanol blend was $2.71 last week. It's typically cheaper than straight gas. But motorists go out of their way to buy the pricier stuff from John's Gulf, 517 Union St., owner John Kirchner said. "The conventional gas is definitely better," he added. "As long as we can get it we'll keep selling it." Powering down? Gasoline/ethanol blends have become standard service station fare since passage of a 2007 federal renewable fuel standard intended to cut pollution and foreign oil dependence. Nationally, said Al Mannato of the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, "About 90 percent of the gasoline in the United States has 10 percent ethanol in it." The government is expected to determine by the end of the year whether a 15 percent ethanol blend would damage gasoline engines of various vintages. E85 fuel, which is made up of 85 percent ethanol, powers a relatively small number of American vehicles, which have to be built specially to accommodate it. Ethanol is still typically derived from corn, Mannato added. Refiners have so far fallen far short of a hoped-for transition to making the fuel from switchgrass and other nonfood sources. However, he said, the biofuel tide is bound to keep on surging under a federal directive to ramp up yearly production from about 12 billion gallons presently to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Straight gas isn't fading without a fight, though. Mannato said proposed laws requiring refiners to offer ethanol-free choices to distributors were defeated in Kansas but approved in a handful of other states, including Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. Pennsylvania has no such regulation, he said. The website pure-gas.org lists 1,269 stations across the country –– out of a total of about 115,000 stations –– that sell ethanol-free gas. But it's unclear just how many ethanol-free options there will be in the near term. Jessie Reider, who owns Reider's Service Station in Elizabethtown with her husband, Scott, said their supplier, Shell Oil, is going to continue to provide ethanol-free gas for the foreseeable future. She estimated that she's seen a 10 percent increase in business since the station started promoting its ethanol-free products last winter. The business began advertising in part to distinguish itself from the AMERIgreen biofuel depot across the street, she said. Word soon spread. "The hot rodders especially like this gas" because it works better in their carbureted engines, Reider said. She added that ethanol-blended gas deposits "gunk" in an engine, a point disputed by the fuel's advocates, who contend that it has no adverse effect on modern cars. Ethanol contains less carbon and burns cooler than gasoline and it's widely reported to decrease gas mileage by about three percent. Some straight-gas loyalists claim to experience fuel efficiency decreases of 25 percent or more. Tom Mills, an AAA administrator and regular commuter from his home in Lancaster to his office in Harrisburg, puts the efficiency loss at 10 percent. Mills, who said he calculates his gas mileage with every tank, described anecdotally another disturbing trend. The number of stations where he can top off with ethanol-free fuel is rapidly dwindling. That doesn't bode well even to Worley & Obetz Inc.'s Seth Obetz, who has built his family business around the biofuel market. "It would be good if they could still have ethanol-free gasoline" for older car engines, boats and small motors that might be harmed by higher-concentration ethanol blends, he said. Ethanol has fewer drawbacks than gasoline in his mind, he added, but neither is ideal. Cars powered by hydrogen and electricity would be a bigger leap forward, Obetz said. But they're not here yet. Ethanol is. And, niche market or not, straight gas is destined to dribble away down the road. "Whether you like ethanol is kind of a moot point –– it's really the only thing we have." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jon Rutter is a staff writer for the Sunday News. His e-mail address is [email protected] Read more: http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/269544#ixzz0ugsAsvWO
 
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Write to the people who are writing the rules and regulations. Let them know your opinion, in a letter, or e-mail. If the response is not to your liking, select them out of office, get someone who will listen, not talk around and around the subject of ethanol. My mpg was around 27, now, it is barely over 21 mpg in my Nissan because of ethanol blended gasoline. I prefer "Real" unleaded gasoline to ethanol blended. My Nissan seems like it "takes all day to get to 55 mph" now using ethanol blended gas. Ethanol is a mess. Ethanol, "Rust from the inside out." Lol
 
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Yesterday I was running out of gas but I risked driving 35-40 miles to get pure gas where I usually fill up, the car started sputtering, thankfully I was close to an exit, I exited, added a gallon of ethanol blended gas just to be able to drive to my favorite ethanol-free gas station. I have been observing around 5 % more MPG with 100% gas.It is 7 cents more expensive and 87 octane(lowest octane available)but I prefer ethanol-free gas anyway. There is a Shell station closeby and they sell 93 octane pure gasoline too but 20-25 cents more expensive than my 87 octane pure gas.
 
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Using our FOOD source to make fuel for cars is NONSENSE! When they start using switchgrass to make ethanol en mass I will be more interested until then...STOP USING human food sources to make fuel. I definitely agree about needed more passenger cars running diesels... There IS a market for very high mileage cars that DON'T NEED TWO ENGINES like a hybrid do!!! ME included.
 
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"Ethanol Free Gas" is banned in California for so long such that if we use it in our engines now we may experience uncontrolled acceleration and sue the heck out of all oil companies that sell that stub here. LOL
 
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Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
I saw a bunch of gas stations in the deep south last week with huge "Our gas contains no ethanol" signs.
I've suggested strongly to the owners of the Star station I go to that they put a big sign out on the highway: "100% GAS! NO ETHANOL!!!"
 
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Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
"Ethanol Free Gas" is banned in California for so long such that if we use it in our engines now we may experience uncontrolled acceleration and sue the heck out of all oil companies that sell that stub here. LOL
Got to love CA! Lets make Pure gas illegal and POT legal. Left coast mentality!
 
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