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Ethanol in Seattle Area Gasoline?

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I'm having trouble jetting some of my bikes, especially when there is a bIg load of ethanol in the fuel. Does all Seattle area gas have ethanol, or does anybody know a brad that is free of the stuff? Thanks

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There should be a label on the pump indicating the amount of ethanol. At one time ethanol addition to the gas in the Puget sound region was done in the winter for emission reasons. Here is a quote from http://www.pugetsoundcleancities.org/FuelBlends_Ethanol.htm :

Use of oxygenated gasoline was mandated by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 in areas with unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. The primary oxygenates were ethanol and MTBE. The demand for ethanol has been increasing, as MTBE has been shown to contaminate ground water supplies. In Washington State, oxygenated gasoline is sold during the winter in areas that do not meet the federal carbon monoxide standard under the Clean Air Act. In past years, these areas were central Puget Sound and Spokane and Clark counties. The oxygenated gasoline program has been phased out in central Puget Sound and Clark County due to air quality improvements in those areas.

While low-percentage ethanol blends are sold in every state and are available in Washington, consumers typically do not have a choice between E10 and 100% gasoline. In areas where oxygenated gasoline is mandated and E10 is used to meet that mandate, the ethanol blend makes up nearly 100% of the gasoline sold. And the blend is typically not available in areas where the mandate does not apply.

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Not sure if they have the octane you want but check out costco. In the past they did not have ethanol added.

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You only need ~3% adjustment for 10% eth, nothing major. If your jetted right on the lean edge or running on a real cold day you'll want to make a change (like you would anyway). But just the eth is usually only 1/2 to 1 main size different and maybe a thin shim on the needle if the bike is held steady in the mid, like on the street.

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With the price of ethanol being so high, I don't think anyone is adding it (since it used to be added to reduce cost).

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Everywhere around Everett and Seattle has it.

We talked about this in this thread:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=747209&page=2&

Just found some interesting information for Washington state. I found these on a pilots forum. Seems they are having tons of trouble with ethanol gas as well.

Ok I stopped by the Cenex Snohomish Co-Op gas station and got the straight scoop. YES, no ethanol at that station. Why? All the Seattle racks where the jobbers get the gas are all ethanol mixed. But the Cenex in Snohomish (next to Harvey Field) gets its gas from Bellingham where the gas isn't mixed at the rack with ethanol. Anacortes doesn't mix at the rack either. So keep testing the gas, but right now, that is the only station in the Seattle area that doesn't have ethanol. I explained to the manager the advantages of selling non-ethanol gas (tractors, antique cars, boats with fiberglass tanks, all the planes at Harvey Field) and he sounded very interesting in getting a competitive advantage against the big boy stations. He called his jobber and found out that we will have non-ethanol gas at the Snohomish Co-Op until late spring, when the Bellingham refinery is going to start mixing ethanol at the rack for delivery.

This does raise an interesting point. The state law, as I understand it requires a fleet average of 2% ethanol. So if all the stations in Washington are selling ethanol gas at 10% mix, and Cenex holds the line against mixing Ethanol, they get a market niche that no other station has and the 2% rule still holds, since Cenex doesn't have much of a hold on the Washington State market compared to Arco, Chevron, Shell, Mobil and the rest. So politically, that might be an avenue to pursue if we can't get the whole state to go with premium non-ethanol gas like all the other state laws.

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I believe the 2% ethanol mandate is based on state-wide consumption.

There are some gas stations I have seen recently in Oklahoma and Texas who go out of there way to promote their fuel as being ethanol free, pointing out ethanol reduces the BTUs in a gallon of gas, thus can reduce fuel economy. Would be a good trend to see here too.

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I know in Oregon where ethanol is mandated all year you can get "straight" gas at a high octane at the marinas (obviously for non-highway use). The marina at Winchester Bay advertises it for the bikes and ATVs in the dunes. I don't know what the situation is around here, but my quess is it's the same.

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Very interesting.

It would be helpful if TT members would check their local retailer regarding ethonal and post the results here. My idea is if there is non-ethanol gas available near a riding area I would buy enough for use at other riding areas. I just called Breakwater Marina in Tacoma and was told all Puget Sound marine fuel contains ethanol, they get their fuel from the Associated Petroleum depot in Tacoma.

I called Associated in Tacoma and got some more info: A new Renewable Energy law went into effect in WA on Dec 1, 08 that requires state wide average of 2% ethanol. The two majors, Shell & Chevron, distrubute blended gas in WA state and ship to Oregon. There is a pipeline from Anacortes to Portland that ships blended gas to Portland and the distributors that pull from that line get blended gas e.g. most of Puget Sound and SW Wash.

Anacortes distribution still ships unblended, or clear, gas to the local market.

Some non branded stations may sell clear gas, i.e. Safeway, Costco, Fred Meyer, etc.

Don't know about eastern WA.

As prevously posted Oregon is also on the ethanol bandwagon, except some marine outlets.

A word of warning for any of you vintage bike owners with fiberglass gas tanks, there is a national issue regarding ethanol blends for marine use because ethanol attacks the resin used in fibeglass gas tanks. The result is a destroyed fuel tank and the desolved resin is carried by the fuel into the engine fouling filters and plugging carb jets, a real safety hazard. Unfortunately our state legislature doesn't care about the collateral damage from ethanol to marine users.

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All the Safeway stations I fill up at in the Seattle area, recently had decals placed on the pumps advising "up to 10% ethanol blend." Note, however, that if a station does not have this decal, this does not mean the fuel is ethanol-free.

Wall Street Journal yesterday had a great editorial on Ethanol. Industry pushing for >10% blends nation wide!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123716798764436701.html

Everyone Hates Ethanol

These days, it's routine for businesses to fail, get rescued by the government, and then continue to fail. But ethanol, which survives only because of its iron lung of subsidies and mandates, is a special case. Naturally, the industry is demanding even more government life support.

Corn ethanol producers -- led by Wesley Clark, the retired general turned chairman of a new biofuels lobbying outfit called Growth Energy -- want the Obama Administration to make their guaranteed market even larger. Recall that the 2007 energy bill requires refiners to mix 36 billion gallons into the gasoline supply by 2022. The quotas, which ratchet up each year, are arbitrary, but evidently no one in Congress wondered what might happen if the economy didn't cooperate.

Now the recession is hammering demand for gas. The Energy Information Administration notes that U.S. consumption fell nearly 7% in 2008 and expects another 2.2% drop this year. That comes as great news for President Obama, who is achieving his carbon-reduction goals even without a new carbon tax, but the irony is that the ethanol industry is part of the wider collateral damage.

Americans are unlikely to use enough gas next year to absorb the 13 billion gallons of ethanol that Congress mandated, because current regulations limit the ethanol content in each gallon of gas at 10%. The industry is asking that this cap be lifted to 15% or even 20%. That way, more ethanol can be mixed with less gas, and producers won't end up with a glut that the government does not require anyone to buy.

The ethanol boosters aren't troubled that only a fraction of the 240 million cars and trucks on the road today can run with ethanol blends higher than 10%. It can damage engines and corrode automotive pipes, as well as impair some safety features, especially in older vehicles. It can also overwhelm pollution control systems like catalytic converters. The malfunctions multiply in other products that use gas, such as boats, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc.

That possible policy train wreck is uniting almost every other Washington lobby -- and talk about strange bedfellows. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, among others, are opposed, since raising the blend limit will ruin their products. The left-leaning American Lung Association and the Union of Concerned Scientists are opposed too, since it will increase auto emissions. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club agree, on top of growing scientific evidence that corn ethanol provides little or no net reduction in CO2 over the gasoline it displaces.

The biggest losers in this scheme are U.S. oil refiners. Liability for any problems arising from ethanol blending rests with them, because Congress refused to grant legal immunity for selling a product that complies with the mandates that it ordered. The refiners are also set to pay stiff fines for not fulfilling Congress's mandates for second-generation cellulosic ethanol. But the cellulosic ethanol makers themselves already concede that they won't be able to churn out enough of the stuff -- 100 million gallons next year, 250 million gallons in 2011 -- to meet the targets that Congress wrote two years ago.

So successful but politically unpopular businesses will be punished for not buying a product that does not exist -- from companies that haven't yet found a way to succeed despite generous political and taxpayer advantages. The next step is to use cap and trade to make green alternatives look artificially good by comparison. Even then they'll probably still be bottomless money pits.

To recap: Congress and the ethanol lobby argue that if some outcome would be politically nice, it should be mandated (details to follow). Then a new round of market interventions is necessary to fix the economic harm resulting from the previous requirements, while creating more damage in the process. Ethanol is one of the most shameless energy rackets going, in a field with no shortage of competitors.

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Pure-Gas.org

This site lists all the current ethanol free stations. The only racks I'm aware of that still produce it are Conoco and Cenex out of Anacortes/Bellingham area. I'm in Snohomish and buy it at the Co-op in town.

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The pure-gas.org link above lists almost 4 dozen stations in WA that sell pure gas, unfortunatly not many in the PS metro areas.

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If you are in the Moses Lake Area you can get non ethanol gas. The Conoco rack there doesn't have ethanol in their gas. There are 2 Conoco stations just off the Interstate. We also haul this to our station in Colville by Vaagens Mill.

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The Grange Supply (Cenex) has fuel without ethanol at the current time. Their pumps are open 24 hours using a debit or credit card. They are across the road from I-90 Motorsports on Gilman Blvd. Been buying my bike and outdoor equipment gas here for years.

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Most small airports carry real fuel for a price. Also there are special fuel companies that many farmers work with here in Eastern Washington which sell all different grades of high octane real fuel. It is very expensive but you can feel the difference in your bike. Jay was using it for a while in his XR650R and he filled my tank once. I knew my motor was on steroids with that stuff in the tank.

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