Changes At The Pump - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Changes At The Pump

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Many QCA drivers are now being forced to make a tough decision: do you want to fuel up with an ethanol blend or do you want to pay more to get straight gas?
Starting this week, there's no longer a low-cost, ethanol-free option at the pump. So, why the change?
Reps with the Iowa Department of Agriculture say it's been in the works for a while. But just this week, similar to the 89 octane fuel, 87 octane has become a blend.
Pipeline refineries are responding to the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard, a law which requires more environmentally friendly ethanol to be mixed with gasoline.
"They're providing 84 octane fuel," said Dustin Vandehoef, Iowa Dept. of Agriculture. "So, that needs to be blended with the higher octane fuel in order to reach the minimum 87 octane."
The good news? If you don't mind the ethanol, you're gas is going to be cheaper.
"Straight ethanol is considerably cheaper than straight gasoline," Vandehoef said.
But, if you don't want the ethanol blend in your tank, your low-cost options are now limited.
"The premium is higher octane and typically does not have ethanol," he said. Premium gasoline can cost $.30 to $.50 more per gallon.
Also, drivers using the new 87 octane ethanol blend may notice they're getting less mileage per gallon. But Department of Agriculture officials say most drivers won't see a major difference.