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    Nice N Easy, Fastrac Offering Ethanol-Free Gasoline

    The fuel is used in lawn mowers, snowblowers, dirt bikes and power boats.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes now offers non-ethanol gasoline at the pump at 14 of its upstate New York locations. Nice N Easy joins Fastrac Markets, which began selling non-ethanol fuel last summer at its central New York sites.

    Ethanol is typically combined with gasoline in a formula of up to 10 percent, which is referred to as the blend wall. Non-ethanol gasoline, also known as 91 octane, is needed for lawn mowers, snowblowers, dirt bikes and power boats. Industry experts say ethanol can harm the engines of these vehicles.

    Opening non-ethanol fuel pumps has already paid off for Nice N Easy, the Watertown Daily Times reported. One specific store in Sackets Harbor, N.Y., has been "swamped by boaters" who have filled up with the new fuel en route to Henderson Harbor, where they launch boats on Lake Ontario.

    "Non-ethanol fuel is great," Sackets Harbor resident George M. McCulloch told the newspaper. "It's horrible what ethanol does, particularly to inboard-outboard motors. It just gums it right up."

    The price of non-ethanol fuel is one drawback, though. Ethanol-free premium gasoline sold for $4.15 per gallon yesterday at Nice N Easy, compared to $3.70 for regular unleaded, according to the news outlet. But Nice N Easy customers said they were happy to pay the higher price to avoid engine problems.

    Calls made by the Daily Times to a Nice N Easy representative were not immediately returned.

    Syracuse, N.Y.-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes operates more than 85 stores in the upstate New York market. The 14 stores offering the non-ethanol gasoline are co-owned by franchisee Edward J. Valentine.

    Fastrac Markets operates 44 locations in central New York and supplies fuels to other customers throughout the state.

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