News & Ideas

Pump Prices Drop, Could Drop Further With More E15

ACE Senior VP Ron Lamberty notes that more E15 in the fuel mix provides advantages for both consumers and gas station owners

With the end of the “summer gasoline” season and its Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) restrictions that handcuff retailers who want to offer E15 to their customers, ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty is urging independent fuel station owners and their customers to consider the E15 fuel blend.

“We’re seeing reports and predictions of lower gas prices, with some celebrating the fact that the price is down to $3.39 nationwide.  In the Midwest, where E15, E30, and E85 are more widely available, even E10 prices are already under $3.00 in some markets. Ethanol adds octane and lowers prices because it provides competition for higher priced, lower octane gasoline,” said Lamberty.

“E15 brings environmental benefits as well. Recent studies highlight the reduction in cancer causing emissions offered by E15. E15 means cleaner, higher octane fuel at a lower price and fuel marketers are starting to realize that. Fuel retailers like CHS/Cenex and Protec have taken steps to make E15 available in more markets soon and others will follow,” Lamberty said.

Lamberty encourages retailers to take note of the growing number of vehicles that can use E15.  “E15 use is covered under warranty for most cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 model years, and some automakers approve it for 2012 vehicles. That’s 30 million vehicles or more, and that number will grow every year.  EPA has approved E15 for use in all cars and light trucks from model years 2001 and newer, which is getting close to 200 million vehicles.”

“This is exactly why Big Oil fights so hard and spends so much time and money to convince EPA and elected officials that the 10% “blend wall” is real, and why they have contract restrictions that prevent branded stations from offering E15.  It’s not the 5% market share that could be taken by E15 that worries Big Oil – it’s what competition for that 5% does to the prices they can charge for the rest of the gallon. More ethanol means lower prices.” said Lamberty.


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