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LABELLING AND OTHER REGULATIONS

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Ethanol Labeling and Other Regulations

25. How-do we know that we are not getting more than 10% ethanol?

It is very easy to blend exactly 10% ethanol, so it is very unlikely that it would be misblended. In order to qualify for the tax exemptions, the law says that the blend must be no more than 10% ethanol, although in some cases it may be less. It would be poor financial management to blend in excess of 10% because the market price of ethanol is currently greater than that of gasoline.

26. Why was ethanol labeled when other gasoline components were not?

When ethanol came on the market in the early 80's, the oil industry convinced many state legislatures that consumers needed to be warned about the presence of ethanol in gasoline because it might cause engine damage. Today, that fear has proven to be unfounded; therefore, neither the federal government nor the State of Minnesota require ethanol labeling. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, does require that oxygenates be labeled for inspection purposes where they are mandated be the Clean Air Act of 1990.

27. What happens when the label requirement is removed?

When the mandatory ethanol label was no longer required in Minnesota, more stations started selling ethanol, and since they didn't have to have a "warning" label many actually started to promote ethanol as a "clean air gasoline" and are now placing positive ethanol marketing labels on the pumps! Consumer reaction to the label removal was virtually non-existent.

28. Does ethanol have to meet ethanol quality specifications?

Yes. The quality and composition of ethanol is far more consistent than that of gasoline.

2006 Gilles Desormeaux