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ATLANTA -- Alternative fuels vs. traditional petroleum remained the hottest fuel-related issue during the 2013 NACS Show. In fact, NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, hosted several educational sessions intended to tackle the subject head on.
As expected, opinions about the topic varied greatly, ranging from retailers touting sales of both E85 and E15 at their gas stations, to other retailers stating they have been able to consistently raise prices — and hence margins — by selling E0. Although E10 — a blend of 10 percent and 90 percent gasoline — is the standard gasoline sold today, some retailers are now selling E0, which specifically appeals to owners of older vehicles and boats.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was another hotly debated topic during the industry's largest trade show. The RFS requires refiners to use 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol this year and 15 billion by 2015. Ethanol is typically combined with gasoline in a formula of up to 10 percent, which is referred to as the blend wall.
Although multiple groups back the RFS, others such as the American Petroleum Institute, say the six-year-old legislation is flawed and should be repealed.
Citing the government shutdown and the narrowly avoided fiscal cliff, John Eichberger, vice president of government relations for NACS, noted that getting any legislation changed in Congress is a difficult challenge right now. However, he said Congress is currently reviewing the legislation and he predicted that changes would be made to the controversial government mandate.