Retailers Reveal: The Blend Wall Fiction

BRUCE VOLLAN: MIDWAY SERVICE, BALTIC, SOUTH DAKOTA

GLENN BADENHOP: AMERICAN FREEDOM ENERGY, LIBERTY CENTER, OHIO

KENT SATRANG: PETRO SERVE USA, MOORHEAD, MINNESOTA

CHARLIE GOOD: GOOD & QUICK, NEVADA, IOWA

Good: “"A wall is something you can't go through. We're already beyond that. We're way beyond E10."

Satrang: “If you deny market access to E15, which is what Big Oil wants to do, they are 100 percent correct – you can’t get past 10% ethanol. That’s easy math. If they deny you the ability to sell the product that’s more than 10 percent ethanol then it’s pretty hard to get beyond ten percent ethanol. Duh. If you allow market access, and you allow E15 and E30 and E85, or even just E15 to be sold, then without question that wall will be smashed. For the first time in history you will have competition at the pump. Look at the lifespan of E15, this is a product that’s in its first days – in its first four months, PetroServeUSA sold more E15 than E85 and it sold more than premium. And then we still sold a tremendous amount of E30 and E85 on top of that.”

Badenhop: “I mentioned this to the EPA while [I met with them in Washington DC], this isn’t from a Pew Study, but just in the short time that we’ve been open, 33 percent of our sales have been with either E10, E15, E20, E30, E40 or E85.”

Vollan (in testimony to the EPA): "The truth is that the secret to getting over the blend wall is to try to get over the blend wall.

"There is no such thing as a 10% blend wall unless petroleum marketers refuse to give their customers any choices above 10%.  In my station over the past year, my monthly sales have been at least 18 percent ethanol overall, with a maximum of 28 percent – and we hit those percentages month after month, even with my station offering ethanol-free gas, and even with E15 sales restricted to flex-fuel vehicles in the summer low-RVP season. We are confident in the quality of E15, given EPA’s thorough testing, and so are our customers. When we began selling E15 'legally,' it immediately became our second bestselling fuel.

Badenhop: “One of the biggest things that I’m hearing is the imaginary blend wall, or thinking we can’t meet this standard, it’s not attainable. I look at my sales, again 33% in one little county, is alternative fuel. We have 80 some counties in Ohio, if we had one station in each county, that’s a big number you take that all through the Midwest, all the way through the country, we’ll more than break through the blend wall.”

Vollan (in testimony to the EPA) "Part of me hopes that the oil companies continue to refuse to even try to sell anything over 10% ethanol, because that refusal also drives up the value of the RINs that Midway Service and other stations like ours receive for proving that the blend wall is imaginary. Oil companies could force RIN prices back down to nothing if they just started selling E15 and E85. But until they do, we will be happy to sell our RINs to them, and those extra dollars help us offer lower prices at the pump, hire more people to handle the extra business, pay for our fueling equipment, and improve our bottom line."

 

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