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TULSA, Okla. -- The federal government has raised the limit on how much ethanol can be mixed into gasoline, allowing up to 15 percent ethanol. But QuikTrip, Tulsa's largest gas retailer, said E15 won't be sold at its pumps anytime soon because it hasn’t been proven safe for all cars, News On 6.com reported.
The convenience chain’s leaders said they don't feel they can stand behind the new fuel blend without a lot more testing to make sure it's going to work in all cars and its pumps.
Most gas stations in Tulsa currently sell the E10 blend that includes up to 10 percent ethanol. No one is selling the E15 blend so far, according to the report.
"Most retailers have to make a decision first if they want to sell it. It's not available to us yet," said Ross Ledbetter, owner of Reeder's Texaco, which sells both full-strength fuel and blended fuel with added ethanol. Ledbetter said his customers definitely want a choice between the lower price of E10 and the higher performance of full-strength fuel. "A lot of consumers believe that the real gas offers them better mileage in their vehicles," he said.
While AAA Oklahoma has not taken a position on the logic of adding more ethanol to fuel, the organization wants to make sure drivers know exactly what they're purchasing.
"Well E15 is only good, according to the EPA standard, for vehicles made in 2001 and later, so if you put E15 in your vehicle, you're going to cause some serious damage," said Danial Karnes of AAA Oklahoma. "So, we want people to know what it is they're putting in their vehicle."
After E10 became more commonly available a few years ago, stations added labels to the pumps. AAA Oklahoma wants to make sure that E15 pumps are obvious as well.
While the federal government has approved E15 for use in cars made since 2001, it still has to be tested for use in the pumps and tanks, and that may take a while. There are cars that can take up to 85 percent ethanol fuel, but it's not widely available, the report stated.