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Monday, July 17, 2006

In Case You're Going To Portland.

Portland is well known for their environmentally friendly policies. Their zoning laws makes a hard line between developed areas and non-developed areas. Portland has no sprawl unlike most other cities. I guess if you're in the middle of rivers, mountains, and praries hey I would want to keep it looking as good as possible too.

Anyway starting July 2007, the Portland City Council has mandated that every gas station carry fuel that is partially a bioproduct. B5 if you're a diesel driver (5% biodiesel blend) or E10 if you're a gasoline user (10% ethanol). Currently most of the country is using a E10 blend for summer gas (better oxygenate for better combustion and doesn't pollute the water supply unlike MTBE) so this shouldn't be a big issue. Current cars can handle a B5 or E10 mixture as appropriate with no modifications. [NOTE: unless you have a flexfuel or E85 compliant vehicle DO NOT put E85 in your car! Ethanol is corrosive and will eat up your fuel system.]

While I'm for helping farmers make use of their crops I have mixed feelings about this. One reason fuel prices flucuate so much is of boutique blends. Chicagoland, St. Louis area, California, and other locals require refineries to make around 50 different blends to be sold across the country. Adding one more boutique blend isn't going to help matters. I wounder if the EPA can mandate fewer blends to help stablize fuel production and pricing? I thinking 4 blends: Super-Environmentally Friendly Summer Blend, a corresponding Winter Blend, Regular Summer Blend, and Regular Winter Blend.

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