ACE: Fuel retailers counter EPA's blend wall assumptions

By American Coalition for Ethanol | June 29, 2015

Station owners who offer ethanol blends above 10 percent are gaining increased sales and higher customer counts, contrary to assumptions made by the U.S. EPA in its recent proposal that would reduce the amount of renewables required to be blended with gasoline in the United States. Retailers also point out that the addition of the products was simple and that none of the engine issues ethanol opponents had predicted have occurred.

Those were points frequently cited by the many retailers who gave testimony at an EPA rield hearing June 25 in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We have seen our ethanol sales numbers increase as we educate the public on the higher ethanol blends,” said Scott Zaremba, owner of Zarco USA, and the first retailer to offer E15 in the United States.

“Renewable blends make up 98 percent of my gasoline sales mix, almost 30 percent of the fuel I sell is in renewable blends above 10 percent,” noted Charlie Good, owner of Good and Quick convenience store in Nevada, Iowa.

“The oil industry has spent a lot of time and money insisting to EPA that there is a ‘blend wall’ that makes it impossible to sell more than 10 percent ethanol,” said American Coalition for Ethanol Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty. “Yesterday, EPA heard from real marketers with real fuel stations whose renewable sales are well above ten percent. Hopefully their input will help EPA see that the rumors of E15’s impossibly have been greatly exaggerated,” said Lamberty.  Other stories of marketers who had success with higher blends can be found on www.Flexfuelforward.com, a website ACE designed for retailers, according to Lamberty.

Dave Sovereign, owner and operator of the Cresco Fast Stop, summarized the thoughts of many retailers, telling EPA, “When consumers have a choice, there is no blend wall.”

The public can also submit comments on the EPA’s proposed renewable fuel standard (RFS) by clicking on http://cqrcengage.com/ethanol/renewable_fuel_standard