South Dakota – Home to Substandard Gas?

Source: Joanna Schroeder, • Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012

South Dakota could continue to be the home of substandard gas if refiners have their way. If the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), a national ethanol organization based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has its way, it will not become the dumping grounds for low-octane fuel. Historically the state has allowed 85 octane gasoline for sale in the western part of the state but it has been discovered to be “leaking” into other areas. Ironically after a review of state laws and rules by the SD Weights and Measures it was determined that the sale of this gas is illegal.

ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings asks that the state follow the letter of the law and resist making 85 octane gasoline available throughout the state.

“We strongly oppose this recommendation to bend the rules so refiners can pad their profits by dumping substandard gasoline into South Dakota,” Jennings said. “Eighty-five octane gasoline is bottom of the barrel fuel that according to vehicle manufacturers will reduce fuel economy and performance, increase harmful tailpipe emissions, and could damage engines.”

The organization has learned that the State would require a label to inform consumers that the 85 octane fuel may not meet engine manufacturer’s minimum standards for vehicle performance. Before any changes take effect, however, the state will open the discussion up for public input. ACE along with other ethanol and corn grower stakeholders plan to submit comments in opposition of the rule change.

“Even though ethanol’s blending octane is 113, the highest and cleanest source of octane on the market, when this low-grade gas is blended with 10 percent ethanol we are very concerned ethanol will be mistakenly blamed for engine performance problems,” continued Jennings. “That is an unacceptable consequence for South Dakota’s ethanol industry and thousands of the state’s residents and farmers who have invested in ethanol production.”