Some Big Bend Drivers Pay More for Fuel By Choice

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

MARIANNA, FL 3/16/2012 --

Despite the high price of gas nowadays, some drivers are choosing an alternative that's even more expensive. But that's because it's ethanol-free, and drivers filling up there say the higher price is well worth it in the long run.

BB's Bait and Tackle gas station in Marianna was busy Thursday despite fuel prices nineteen cents higher than some of its competitors.

"I buy all my gasoline here," said driver William Carr.

"I use this gas station more than any other," said driver Steve Aldridge.

The popularity comes from the fact the station only sells ethanol-free fuel.

"This particular week I've already had the gas truck here three times," said gas station co-owner Patrick Bryan.

Bryan made the change to offer something he said is a better, more efficient product.

"It sounds higher but it is definitely the cheapest way to go," said Bryan.

So why is ethanol so bad for an engine? WCTV went to Marianna mechanic Luke Shores to find out.

"The ethanol, the water in the fuel actually attacks the rubber, makes the rubber swell, so in your carburetors it restricts the gas flow. Vehicles that sit a long time, stored up, not been running, not been cranked, it'll rust out the gas tanks," said Shores.

And even though the economy is still recovering and many continue to pinch pennies, it appears the more expensive ethanol-free way is gaining ground, and not just in the Panhandle.

The website lists close to three hundred other ethanol-free stations throughout Florida. Supporters said it comes down to the savings in the long run.

"The engine with the pistons and everything, the gunk buildup, and this seems to alleviate that," said driver Steve Mazzaferro.

"I don't want to have to replace the fuel injectors or nothing like that," said Carr.

"Everybody who wants ethanol gas, try and repair all your equipment," said Carr.

Florida Representative Matt Gaetz introduced a bill this session that would have repealed a state law requiring ethanol to be in fuel. Legislators incorporated a similar idea into a larger energy bill that passed. It's now up to Governor Rick Scott if he'll sign it into law.

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  • by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 07:13 AM
    I own a lawn care business....have for 24 years. I have always used 93 octane fuel. It is cleaner ,burns cooler and has a longer shelf life. Ethanol fuel is destroying primer bulbs fuel hoses and rubber diaphragms in the carburetors. I have been repairing my own equipment for 24 years. Diesel fuel is by far the most efficient fuel....end of discussion.
  • by Patriot Location: USA on Mar 19, 2012 at 07:11 AM
    Here is all the "proof" I need. Recently. I took a trip to Savannah, GA. I pulled a camper. I filled up here with NON-ethanol gas, and has 1/4 tank left when I arrived at my destination. Just before leaving, I filled up there with 10% ETHANOL gas( all I could find) and my tank was empty and fuel light was on when I got home. Same exact route there and back. Now, tell me, if you mileage is 10 to 15% LESS with ethanol, and you have 10% ethanol in the fuel, just what the hell are you gaining, environmental wise or monetary wise? You folks have had the wool pulled over your eyes by politicians and environmentalists with something to gain (money in there pockets).
  • by Bolillo Location: Wakulla on Mar 18, 2012 at 04:53 AM
    I traveled thru Mexico last year. The Government owns all of the fuel oulets there. Ethanol free, by the way. The first time I pumped gas there, it took me back 30 years. You could actually smell the octane rising. Our government has slipped this ethanol on us without care of the long term bad results on a gasoline motor. Smart boat motor mechanics knew this first, BTW.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 01:59 AM
    Using food for motor fuel is stupid. Much better to have food than fuel.
  • by Smartron on Mar 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM
    You all have any research to back your claims or just "blah blah hate gubment blah blah?"
    • reply
      by M on Mar 17, 2012 at 08:36 AM in reply to Smartron
      Sure do. Do a quick internet search for the joules contained with a set volume of alcohol versus the same volume of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons contain more joules (energy) per unit volume.
      • reply
        by Tom on Mar 17, 2012 at 03:05 PM in reply to M
        It's a known fact that ethanol has less energy than gasoline. As does propane and natural gas. Plus it costs WAY more to produce. If you remove the government subsidy (our taxes), it would cost 'bout double what gasoline costs. And guess what takes it to market? Diesel!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM in reply to Smartron
      I have the receipts for the repair bills. Would you like to see them, or did you just feel like being obnoxious?
  • by the other anonymous on Mar 16, 2012 at 06:35 PM
    Well, as I type this, there are 7 comments, all spot on. We can all thank Al Gore for our ruined engines and repair bills. He admitted that the only reason he pushed ethanol so hard, was to get the votes of the Iowa corn farmers. Kinda makes you wonder what other ways has he pulled the wool over the public's eyes.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2012 at 06:26 PM
    This is what happens when politician make decisions instead of the free market.....windmills, cash for clunkers, solyndra, chevy volt
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 01:53 AM in reply to
      So what you're saying is that we need to rescind the government subsidies that keep motor fuels artificially cheap at the pump and all pay the market price, and then only the 1% will be able to afford to drive?
  • by Quincy Mom on Mar 16, 2012 at 01:27 PM
    When I used to fill my Jeep with no-ethanol gasoline, I got almost 10 more miles per gallon out of the tank. That's almost 170 more miles per gallon for me! We were told by our local station that it is illegal for consumers to pump no-ethanol gas directly into a car, so I would like to know how they are doing this in Marianna.
    • reply
      by Tom on Mar 17, 2012 at 05:25 AM in reply to Quincy Mom
      So your Jeep gets 160 mpg on ethanol gas? Don't think so. I suspect you don't know how to determine fuel mileage. Using real gas instead of that ethanol poison MIGHT give a 10% increase. I imagine your Jeep gets around 13 mpg.
      • reply
        by rob on Mar 17, 2012 at 07:13 AM in reply to Tom
        I think she my have misspoke and should have said "per tankful".
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 26, 2012 at 06:50 AM in reply to rob
          Thanks Rob, I did mean per tankfull! That is what late nights trying to get the family ready for a road trip will do :)
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 26, 2012 at 06:54 AM in reply to Tom
        Tom - I just mis typed. I actually do know how to old-school the gas mileage. Per mile. However, I rely on the digital gizmo on the dash that confirms that I get anywhere between 17.5 and 18.5 with ethanol laced gasoline. When I am able to fill up with non-ethanol gas, I see an increase on average of 9 to 10 more miles PER GALLON of gasoline. When I fill up, the tank takes about 17 gallons. That is a per tank increase of almost 170 miles. For someone that drives back and forth between Quincy and Tallahassee everyday, that is a significant and REAL difference!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 18, 2012 at 01:57 AM in reply to Quincy Mom
      I've owned three Wranglers. They get horrible mileage. But it doesn't matter because people who own Jeeps don't care about fuel economy anyway.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 26, 2012 at 07:00 AM in reply to
        I drive a Jeep Commander. Perhaps that is the difference. Before that I drove a Jeep Cherokee. I love them because they are reliable and have never left me stranded. And, not that I need to justify why I drive what I drive, but a big family does not fit in a Volt, or Prius, or whatever other golf cart-sized vehicle we are told we are supposed to drive. My old Jeep actually got better gas mileage....she is still on the road :)
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM
    I am all for getting off of gas or reducing our need for it but to turn to ethanol wasn't a wise choice. This only helps the farmers that produce crops for it, which in turn ups our food prices as less food for eating. Broken or gummed up engines helps only those that sell repair services or replacement of those engines or machines.
  • by dog Location: gone on Mar 16, 2012 at 11:19 AM
    Ethanol will Destroy your 2 cycle motor. Most yard equipment, boat motors, Chain saws, your old Vehicles. DON'T USE FOOD FOR FUEL . BAN ETHANOL.
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