Changes at the gas pump - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Changes at the gas pump

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Posted By: Camila Orti

People in Lincoln are seeing a change at the gas pump.

We're used to seeing mid-grade gasoline contain ten percent ethanol. Now the lowest-grade, regular 87-octane, has ethanol in it, too.

Consumers that don't want to use ethanol might be feeling some pressure.

"I'm not a big fan of the ethanol, I don't think we should be forced to have it in our gasoline," Michael Matthews said.

"I usually use ethanol, obviously it's cheaper for one, but ethanol normally burns cleaner," KC Gruber said.

Within the last week, shipments of gas to the state of Nebraska have changed. Gasoline is lower quality, coming in with a lower octane level. In order to bump it up to the minimum 87–octane required, manufacturers must mix it with ten percent ethanol.

That means there will only be one option available for those who don't want to put ethanol in their vehicles.

"If there are some who absolutely insist that they don't want to use an ethanol blend, they're going to have to pay for that privilege, they're going to have to buy premium gasoline," Administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Todd Sneller said.

That gas is 35 to 40 cents more expensive per gallon compared to the regular stuff.

The change comes partly from a federal mandate that requires an increasing percentage of fuel to come from renewable sources, plus efforts from oil refineries to turn a bigger profit.

Marilyn Muir with AAA Nebraska says it's been a long time coming.

"Nebraska and Iowa was one of the last states to actually conform to this regulation so it's time to get on board, I guess," Muir said.

Sneller and Muir say as long as your car doesn't require premium gas, ethanol won't hurt it.

If you're in doubt on what your car needs, or if you think ethanol will hurt it, double check with your mechanic or manufacturer. Very old cars or anything with a V-10 engine, for example, should not use ethanol.

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