Missourians May Pay Less at the Pump

6 years 3 weeks 3 days ago Friday, April 27 2012 Apr 27, 2012 Friday, April 27, 2012 6:51:00 PM CDT April 27, 2012 in News
By: Christine Wendel

JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians will likely see a lower-priced fuel alternative in the coming months. The Environmental Protection Agency gave approval for E15 - a blend of ethanol and gasoline - to be sold in Missouri.

The current gasoline-ethanol blend sold at pumps is able to have up to 10 percent ethanol. E15 is comprised of 15 percent ethanol.  According to Chief Executive Gary Marshall of the Missouri Corn Growers Association, E15 will be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than current gasoline options. Marshall also said the increase in ethanol will benefit us domestically rather than abroad.

"We need to use more ethanol to decrease dependency on foreign oil," Marshall said.

Julian Binfield is the Market/Policy Research Assistant Professor at MU's Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. Binfield said his research does not show that E15 will prompt more corn-growing in Missouri. He said that the current amount of ethanol being produced is becoming too large for the amount of ethanol allowed in fuel - ten percent.

"There's a problem at the moment, in the sense that ethanol has been expanding rapidly in the last few years... in order to sell more ethanol, they need to sell a different product - that could be either the E85 used in Flex Fuel vehicles, or a higher low-level blend."

Marshall said the EPA approved E15 after finding no evidence that it will damage consumers' gas tanks. "Flex Fuel" vehicles, like Marshall's personal car, are able to run on gasoline-ethanol blends with up to 85 percent ethanol. He said "normal" vehicles produced after the year 2001 should all be okay to operate with E15.

"We don't think there's going to be any problems with that. Everything should be seamless."

Marshall said he expects E15 to be available this coming fall.

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