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Blending ethanol into gasoline is saving local drivers at least 12 cents per gallon, according to an analysis of current gasoline and ethanol pricing.

Based upon market-closing prices on April 27, ethanol was selling for 81 cents a gallon less than its gasoline counterpart. With the majority of gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol  by volume, drivers are seeing prices at the pump 8 cents less than they otherwise would be. Together with current renewable fuels policy providing a 4.5 cent per gallon tax credit for gasoline makers on E10 blends, drivers are saving more than 12 cents on every gallon of E10 they buy.

This 12-cent differential is no small amount. It’s an annual savings of more than $100 for the average American household, which consumes about 900 gallons of gasoline yearly.

Interestingly, if E15 — 15 percent ethanol — blends were widely available today, drivers of the approved vehicles would see E15 priced 19 cents per gallon less than regular unleaded. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of E15 for cars, pickups and SUVs from model year 2001 and newer earlier this year, but final regulations have yet to be set allowing for the sale of E15 blends across the country.

Kristy Moore, Rural Heyworth

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