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ACE Teams with Petroleum Marketers to Protect Splash Blending, Competition
by Kristin Brekke

Ethanol advocates and petroleum marketers sometimes have differing opinions on public policy, but this fall the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) have united in support of policy that will benefit the nation’s motorists by protecting competition in the fuel market.

Last month, ACE and PMAA wrote a letter urging Governors to enact legislation in their state to protect petroleum marketers’ rights to “splash blend” ethanol, protecting them from being forced by refiners to purchase only pre-blended ethanol – a situation which often results in the ethanol savings not making it to the street as intended.

If refiners only offer pre-blended E10 and don’t allow petroleum marketers the option to purchase ethanol and gasoline separately to do their own blending, there is no meaningful competition in the marketplace and petroleum marketers are often overcharged for the ethanol – even by as much as $1 to $1.50 per gallon, which adds 10 to 15 cents to the price a consumer pays for E10 at the pump.

Such legislation was passed in both North and South Carolina this summer, and the ACE / PMAA letter encourages Governors to look to these examples for implementation in their own states. So far the PMAA’s state associations in Georgia and Michigan have asked that their Governors be sent the letter, and more states have said they’d like to work with their state leadership on the splash blending issue once their legislatures come back in session.

According to Ron Lamberty, Vice President / Market Development for ACE, this “Freedom to Fuel” legislation is important for consumer choice.

“This issue is about being able to obtain ethanol at a fair price,” he said. “Fueling choices shouldn’t stop at the refining level, or even at the retail level, but should be passed on to consumers.”

Lamberty worked with the South Carolina petroleum marketers association this summer on getting the legislation passed. This fall ACE and PMAA are working together to reach out to other states, encouraging them to look at passing “Freedom to Fuel” legislation.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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