Some Drivers Displeased With E-10 Fuel

Wednesday, April 16th 2008, 5:18 pm
By: News On 6

Record high oil prices cause more pain at the pump.  The cost of gas went up about 10 cents a gallon overnight at most stations around Tulsa.  Meanwhile, ethanol was supposed to reduce both our dependence on foreign oil and the price of gas.   But, The News On 6's Steve Berg reports not everybody is happy with its effects on their gas mileage.

The vast majority of stations in Tulsa sell what's called E-10 gasoline.  That's a blend with 10% ethanol content.  And, more and more drivers say their miles per gallon have gone down.

Jack Potter is an avid golfer.  In fact, he's been here at Battle Creek every day this week.

"I drive the same route all the time, coming out to the golf course," said Jack Potter.

His repetitious route gives him what he feels is a more accurate than usual gauge on which to judge his gas mileage.

"I have a computer on the car to go by and that's what I've run the study on.  Just inadvertently came up with it actually," said Jack Potter.

Potter says he always fills up his Nissan Armada at the same Kum N' Go station, which he says switched to the ethanol blend during the past year.

"I used to get 16.1 average, over a long period of time, and that's mostly going back and forth to the golf course," said Jack Potter.  "Then, after the change, when they started using the blend there, I get just 14.5."

That's a mileage drop of 9%.

Oklahoma law doesn't require stations to post whether they're selling the E-10 blend, but chances are they do.

Federal law is mandating that more and more of the nation's gasoline supply be blended with ethanol, which saves gasoline at first, but maybe not when Potter is filling up more often.

"I think it's just a bad idea, and it's one of the dumb things that the government has done, trying to appease someone, and I don't know who that is, but it's not working," said Jack Potter.