EPA Mandates How Much Gas You Must Buy

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Recently by Eric Peters: On Cyclists and Cars — and Common Sense and Coexistence

The government can force you to buy health insurance – so why not gas, too?

The EPA has just issued another mandate – this one requiring that people who buy gas at stations where E15 (15 percent ethanol content) is sold buy at least four gallons of fuel. (See here for the news story.)

Why, you ask?

Because EPA knows that E15 – which it is pushing aggressively (because of aggressive pushing by the corn lobby, which makes billions off the force-fed “sales” of its product) is extremely bad news for any vehicle made before model year 2001 – and nearly all outdoor power equipment such as lawn mowers and chainsaws and so on that were not designed to deal with high alcohol-content fuels. Alcohol-laced “gas” is extremely corrosive and – in older vehicles (and power equipment) that lack the ability to automatically adjust their air-fuel ratios to compensate – it causes a lean-running condition that can quickly overheat and destroy the engine.

So: On the one hand, EPA knows ethanol-laced fuel is bad news. On the other hand, it is pushing for ever-higher ethanol content fuels like E15. And in order to prevent what EPA surely realizes could be a potential PR disaster – and spoil its goal of mandating widespread use of E15 – it has decided to force us to buy at least four gallons of fuel at any station where E15 is sold, so that (for the moment) the damage caused by high-alcohol content fuels is minimized.

Here’s the deal: Many stations have multi-fuel pumps. You have probably used them. You select whatever payment method you’re going to use, then you select the type of fuel you want: regular, mid-grade or premium. It flows from the same nozzle. Which means, if the person before you bought E15, some of the backwash is going in your tank (or your lawnmower’s gas jug).

By forcing people to buy at least four gallons, the EPA is trying to make sure that enough real gas (or at least, “gas” with relatively low ethanol content) gets mixed in with the 15 percent ethanol E15 it is trying to cram down our throats at the behest of the agri-business cartels, under the guise of “renewable” and “clean” energy ( which, of course, it’s not) in order to avoid potentially embarrassing mass carnage of older vehicles and power equipment… at least, for a little while. Here it is, directly from the horse’s ass… er, mouth:

“EPA requires that retail stations that own or operate blender pumps either dispense E15 from a dedicated hose and nozzle if able or, in the case of E15 and E10 being dispensed from the same hose, require that at least four gallons of fuel be purchased to prevent vehicles and engines with smaller fuel tanks from being exposed to gasoline-ethanol blended fuels containing greater than 10 volume percent ethanol.” (Italics added.)

This is going to be fun for motorcycle owners – because many bikes have tanks that don’t hold four gallons of fuel. Bikes with larger tanks only have slightly larger tanks. Most would have to be on the verge of running on fumes, in most cases, to take on four gallons of fuel. What happens when they can only take on 3.5 gallons? Or two? Will they be arrested? Tazered? What?

Read the rest of the article Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

The Best of Eric Peters

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare