State of Minnesota (Bureau of Weights and Measures) advises consumers on gasoline and ethanol

(from the State of Minnesota Website)

Minnesota’s ethanol mandate helps reduce our reliance on imported petroleum.

  • Nearly all gasoline sold in Minnesota is blended with 10% ethanol, which allows us to offset our demand for gasoline by 10 percent.
  • Governor Pawlenty signed legislation in 2005 that will double the amount of ethanol in gasoline in Minnesota.  Under the legislation, a new E-20 mandate would take effect in 2013 unless ethanol has already replaced 20 percent of the state’s motor vehicle fuel by 2010.
  • The use of Ethanol and E85 fuel reduces harmful emissions and keeps more of our money in our state. (E85 is a blend of 85% Ethanol and 15% gasoline; traditional gasoline in Minnesota contains 10% Ethanol)

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Weights & Measures Division is responsible for enforcing consumer protections in the gasoline industry.
Gas pumps are regularly checked for accuracy to make sure consumers are getting what they pay for.

Every day, field inspectors perform random testing of the quality of the gasoline sold at gas stations across the state. Tests include octane, cetane, oxygenates and sulfur content.

What consumers can do
While an individual may not be able to influence the price of gasoline at the pump, there are things you can do to reduce your gasoline consumption and costs.

Improve your vehicle’s gas mileage.

  • Keep the tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires force the engine to work harder.
  • Follow the speed limit. The faster you drive, the poorer your gas mileage.
  • Keep your car tuned up. Even a bad spark plug can greatly reduce mileage.
  • Keep the windows closed and use the air conditioner at highway speed to reduce drag. In stop-and-go city traffic, shut off the air conditioner and open the windows.
  • Drive at a smooth speed. Avoid sudden, fast acceleration.

Choose renewable fuel blends when available.

  • Nearly all gasoline in Minnesota contains 10 percent ethanol, reducing our reliance on foreign petroleum.
  • Check to see if you have a “flexible fuel” vehicle, which allows you to use less expensive E-85 fuel (85 percent ethanol). Many people with flexible fuel vehicles do not know they have one! Look under the fuel door lid for the word “E-85.”
  • Look for biodiesel fuel for diesel vehicles. Biodiesel blends (2% biodiesel) are becoming more available as the market for them increases. Contact the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association for a current list of stations offering biodiesel.
  • All diesel fuel sold in Minnesota is required to contain 2% biodiesel. Some gas stations sell blends up to 20% biodiesel.

Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle

  • Compare the fuel economy of different vehicles before making a purchase.
  • Consider hybrid or flexible fuel vehicles which are less expensive to operate.
  • If you have two cars, use the more efficient one for short trips and city driving.

Consider alternative transportation

  • Carpool or take the bus to work.
  • Ride your bicycle to work one day a week.

For more information, visit the following web sites:

U S Department of Energy – for U S gasoline prices and fuel efficiency information on specific vehicles:

Our Take:
Thank you, State of Minnesota, for reminding consumers of the simple fact that E10 is saving them money every day. Since we produce no “Texas Tea” ourselves, and we are at the end of the pipeline, we are more vulnerable than many other regions to high gasoline prices—or we would be without ethanol. The actual savings figure depends on market conditions, so it’s a moving target, but estimates range as high as 40 cents per gallon—that’s how much more our gasoline would cost without Minnesota’s E10 requirement.

And let’s not forget that 80 percent of our gasoline comes from Canadian oil—and an increasing portion of that derives from the Alberta oil sands strip mines—widely viewed as the worst ecological devastation in recent memory.

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The current wholesale price of ethanol at the fuel terminal in Minnesota is $1.59—a substantial savings over gasoline. The move to E20 in 2013 will produce even greater savings for the consumer, along with clean air benefits and the economic benefit of using energy that we have produced ourselves, rather than imported.


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