South Dakotan Wins RFA’s E85 “Post Your Price” Contest
February 24, 2015 - Issue #205View Full Issue
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently announced at the National Ethanol Conference (NEC) that Scott LeBrun of South Dakota has won its first ever E85 “Post Your Price” contest.
“We are thrilled to name Scott LeBrun as the first-ever ‘Post Your Price’ contest winner,” stated RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “E85 provides a low-cost fuel option to consumers with flex-fuel vehicles, but this past year RFA uncovered many disturbing trends when it came to E85 pricing and availability. We found that Big Oil-branded stations are less likely to offer higher-level ethanol blends than non-branded locations and more likely to use strict contracting language to prohibit or limit consumer choice. We also saw E85 priced suspiciously high in the St. Louis market in what can be seen as an attempt to price the fuel out of the market. These anti-competitive trends cannot stand. Big Oil should not be allowed to continue its market distortion at the expense of consumers. The ‘Post Your Price’ contest yielded timely and accurate information that will be utilized by the RFA to counter Big Oil’s monopolistic practices in 2015.”
In addition to the overall winner, RFA also awarded free E85 for a month to the individuals participating in the contest that submitted pictures with the largest and smallest disparity between the E85 price and the price of regular unleaded gasoline. Michael Scholl submitted a photo of a station in Hartford, Michigan, that had E85 at $1.64/gallon and regular unleaded at $2.89/gallon.
Additionally, Douglas Cochran identified a station in Albany, Georgia, listing E85 at $1.94/gallon and regular unleaded at $1.68/gallon. The price disparity at the Georgia station goes to show there are still marketers not passing through the real savings of E85 to consumers.