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The Controversy over Ethanol

Submitted by on July 14, 2011 – 1:18 pmNo Comment

by Chris Chmura  (My Fox Tampa Bay)  Move over regular, mid-grade, and premium — there’s another choice at select gas stations: Ethanol-free unleaded.

It’s as much as 50 cents per gallon more expensive than a conventional fill-up, but some consumers insist on it.

“I would pay $5 a gallon, it wouldn’t bother me,” said Ken Rea. “Even $6.”

…At Royal Mower in Clearwater, Erik Wood opens a carburetor graveyard — a cardboard box full of problem parts he has had to replace in various pieces of gas-powered lawn equipment.

“We average of about 50…in one month, at a cost of $30 to $100,” he said. “All because of ethanol.”

Wood said ethanol eats away plastics and glues inside the engines of lawn mowers, weed trimmers, tree pruners, etc.

…The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently added credibility to ethanol critics’ claims when it announced the recall of approximately 2.3 million pieces of STIHL brand lawn equipment due to fire danger.

…In an online statement, the Renewable Fuels Association soundly rejected the recall.  “The answer is simple,” said Kristy Moore, Director of Technical Services. “STIHL used inferior, and probably very cheap, parts for the fuel cap.”

…Wood said lawn equipment owners can diminish the effects of ethanol by adding fuel stabilizers or draining the fuel tanks when the equipment is not in use.  READ MORE and MORE (Renewable Fuel Association) and MORE (STIHL recall)

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