Refiners Balk at Selling New Ethanol Blend
by Ben Lefebvre (Wall Street Journal) Several major U.S. oil refiners said Tuesday that they won’t sell gasoline containing 15% ethanol despite recent government authorization for fuel makers to start distributing the fuel blend.
Valero Energy Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and Tesoro Corp. said they would refuse to sell E15, a mix of 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol, at their gas stations, because it could harm older automobiles or void their warranties. They and most other refiners now sell a mix of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.
…The three companies own or license their names to a combined 12,700 gas stations in the U.S., about 7.8% of the total as of 2008, the latest figure available. Other refiners, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP PLC, declined to comment.
…To help meet the EPA’s goal of having 12.6 billion gallons of ethanol blended into the U.S. fuel supply in 2011, Valero will instead install more E85 pumps to serve “flexible fuel” vehicles specifically designed to use fuel containing 85% ethanol, Mr. Day said. E85 is sold primarily in the Midwest. READ MORE