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November 04, 2008

‘Splash-blended’ ethanol in gas

Ethanol, ethanol, where is the shame? The Star revealed yet another problem with ethanol, “splash blending,” which enriches a few greedy fuel sellers and it exploits the driving public (10/26, A-1, “Mixing method can hurt your car”). Obviously, this practice should be made illegal, but the ethanol industry is very powerful.

Perhaps a grassroots solution is to start a Web site for complaints about fuel sellers. Complaints might include unusually poor mileage or poor performance after fill-up and auto repairs caused by possible excess ethanol. Drivers who measure ethanol content themselves also could report their findings.

Additionally, the government needs to again require that all pumps are labeled with ethanol content. We deserve to know what we are buying. This label would also inform consumers of the suggested complaint Web site mentioned above.

Besides “splash blending,” corn-based ethanol as a fuel additive has many other problems: It drives up the cost of food and significantly reduces fuel mileage.

Missouri currently mandates ethanol and, as I understand it, Kansas will encourage it starting Jan. 1, 2009.

This is not Russia. The American driver deserves a choice.

Chris Luhnow
Prairie Village

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