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    SIGMA President Evaluates Ethanol

    Higher price, lower efficiency plague the fuel's future.

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Ethanol as an alternative fuel to gasoline faces numerous hurdles to overcome if it is expected to gain ground as the fuel of the future.

    One of the hurdles is convincing its value to Paul Reid, CEO of the Reid Group and president of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA). Reid recently told Business First of Buffalo his concerns about the fuel.

    "While the government has asked motor fuel companies to invest in green, It would be a heavy lift to get people to pay even more for a gallon of [less efficient] gas." He added: "Marketers such as ourselves will gladly sell E85, biodiesel or any motor fuel, but we only want to sell what people are going to buy."

    E85 is approximately 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, noted Reid, but wouldn't be priced at a corresponding 30 percent discount.

    He reiterated the comments made during his testimony on behalf of SIGMA and NACS, the association for convenience and petroleum retailing, at the U.S. House of Representatives committee on energy and commerce.

    Reid was elected to serve a two-year term as president of SIGMA, an organization representing more than 240 independent motor fuel marketing companies, in February.

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