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    Missouri Retailers Push Ethanol

    State legislation would remove pump labeling for fuel products containing the corn derivative.


    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri convenience store and agriculture leaders want to peel the ethanol labels off gasoline pumps.

    The yellow stickers that describe the 10 percent ethanol blend of some fuels are scaring motorists away and decreasing sales, according to the Missouri Corn Growers Association.

    Ethanol is made from corn and blended with petroleum. State law requires labels on any gas pumps that contain an ethanol mix. A bill by State Sen. John Cauthorn, (R-Mexico) would repeal that requirement, according to the Jefferson City (Mo.) News Tribune.

    Convenience store and gas station owners statewide would prefer to get rid of all special labels on gasoline, said Ronald Leone, executive vice president of Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

    If the ethanol labels were removed, motorists would have no way of knowing if there was ethanol in the gasoline. But under legislation passed last year, labels still would be required for fuel containing the additive MTBE.

    That additive, which is getting pashed out by states like California and Illinois, is intended to reduce harmful emissions and raise octane in gasoline, but it also has entered the groundwater in parts of Missouri after leaking from underground storage tanks.

    Leone said the new law could force MTBE labels to be placed on nearly all gas pumps, because regular fuel picks up traces of the additive when it passes through pipelines that had previously carried MTBE fuels.

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