Missouri: Flex Fuel Program Offers Consumers More Choices at the Pump

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)—Missouri drivers can expect to see additional alternatives at the gas pump as state officials initiate a pilot program allowing the sale of new ethanol blends ranging from 10 to 85 percent.

The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA), Missouri Renewable Partners (MRP) and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) Weights and Measures Division are working together to implement this new program.  LifeLine Foods – Ethanol Division has also served as a representative from Missouri’s farmer-owned ethanol industry.  The program has been awarded a one-year permit and will then be reviewed by the MDA for statewide implementation.  All pilot locations must be approved through the MDA Weights and Measures Division and MCGA.

“This is an important step towards providing Missouri consumers with new energy options that can offer both economic savings and improved fuel mileage,” said Gary Clark, MCGA senior director of marketing.  “Our goal is to work with MDA and fuel retailers across the state to make sure proper and workable measurement standards are established for these new ethanol blends.”

If priced correctly by petroleum marketers and gas stations, blender pumps can offer sizeable savings to consumers.  Studies conducted by the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and the state of Minnesota have concluded that mid-range blends of 20 to 30 percent ethanol may be optimal for today’s Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV).  Several other states including South Dakota and Kansas have already implemented blender pump programs.  A copy of the latest ethanol research is available at www.ethanol.org.

“It is important that consumers are getting the savings and improved mileage that some studies claim,” said Ron Hayes, director of MDA’s Weights and Measures Division.  “After this program provides positive results for drivers, we will move towards a permanent standard for all Missouri retailers.”

Currently, blends higher than 10 percent are approved for FFVs only.  Warranties for non FFVs do not cover the use of ethanol blends higher than 10 percent.  To find out if your vehicle is flex-fuel compatible, visit www.e85fuel.com.   For more information on the blender pump program, contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Division at (573) 751-4316.

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