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Cheaper Gas Could Be At Pumps Soon

February 19, 2012, 9:55 PM by Jon Berg

Cheaper Gas Could Be At Pumps Soon
SIOUX FALLS, SD - From E-10 to E-85, ethanol blends have grown in popularity over the years because of their cost relative to gasoline.

And now, an even cheaper alternative could be on its way. Thanks to a recent EPA ruling on health effects, E-15 could soon replace E-10.

"Last year at the pump, American's spent over eight percent of their income on gasoline. That's astronomical, that's way beyond what American's should be spending on gasoline, Ethanol's the only viable fuel today that lowers the price of gasoline," Kelly Manning, with Growth Engery, said.

And, if E-15 proves to be a viable alternative, drivers certainly wouldn't mind spending less at the pump.

"I think it'd be great, I mean a little cheaper gas always helps, especially with gas prices going up, it was a little under three dollars for a while there now it's back up to three thirty-five," driver Riley Mcmanus said.

But some drivers are against putting the biofuel into their vehicle. Richard Schmaltz says, while it may be cheaper, E-15 could impact *other commodities.

"I'm concerned about what effect that has overall for our food prices and cattle and other animal prices," Schmaltz said.

But  Manning says the demand for ethanol would go up and would eventually help both the economy and agriculture.

"Right now we have too much supply. We're exporting ethanol to areas like Brazil this last year because we have too much production," Manning said. 

And for those looking for that cheaper alternative, you could start seeing E-15 gasoline at the pumps soon.

"We'll see some at the pumps probably by the end of the month," Manning said.

South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota will most likely be the earliest states to see the new blend. But providing it at the pumps is something individual gas stations have to decide.

"Over 30 years ago, America started running ten percent Ethanol, it took almost 30 years for this 10 percent Ethanol to get to the penetration levels it's at today," Manning said.

But even with the decision left up to stations, Manning is confident the EPA's backing of E-15 is a step in the right direction for the future of the country's fuel.

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