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Ethanol rules could make pure gasoline hard to find next month in Oklahoma

Gasoline that has not been blended with ethanol could get harder to find in central Oklahoma due to federal renewable fuel mandates.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Modified: August 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: August 23, 2013
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A spokeswoman for Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores said it is difficult to know what will happen with pure gasoline at this point.

“The supply situation for pure gasoline is still fairly speculative at this point,” spokeswoman Jenny Love Meyer said. “The supply at terminals in the central Oklahoma area may decrease in the future. I am not aware of a specific timeline though when this might occur.”

Oil and natural gas industry groups like the American Petroleum Institute have urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the ethanol mandate, without success.

“The program is outdated and needs to be repealed once and for all,” said Bob Greco, director of the institute's downstream group. “Under the current RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) regime, ethanol requirements will continue to increase while gasoline demand continues to decline.

“That's why we need a full repeal by Congress.”

Ethanol advocates maintain the renewable fuel mandate has increased the country's fuel supply, while keeping the price of gasoline from climbing further.

“It is as if the U.S. oil refining industry had found a way to extract 10 percent more gasoline from a barrel of oil,” Iowa State University professor Dermot Hayes said in a statement released by the Renewable Fuels Association. “This additional fuel supply has alleviated periodic gasoline shortages that had been caused by limited refinery capacity.”

Hayes said the mandate has reduced fuel prices by an average of 29 cents a gallon.

CONTRIBUTING:

Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor