Posted By: Camila Orti
There are still (less expensive) options for people in Lincoln who don't want to put ethanol in their cars.
Many gas stations in town now have two ethanol blend options, and only one without ethanol. This forces some to pay a hefty price for the only non-ethanol option- premium.
Dan Hergert, owner of Super C, explains this isn't the case at every station.
"We are an independent marketer, private brand, our brand is Super C and we're able to buy gas on the open market and we can sell any product that we want," Hergert said.
Hergert says his company, as well as other smaller brands, like Casey's, are still able to sell regular 87–octane gas without ethanol. He refers to it as "clear 87." It will cost approximately 10-15 cents per gallon more than you're used to because distributors have to blend it with the expensive stuff, but it'll still be cheaper than premium.
Hergert says more than a third of Super C's customers have chosen regular unleaded over the years, and he's happy he can still deliver.
"We've picked up some business and we hope it continues," Hergert said.
Gas stations affiliated with big oil refineries are the ones being forced to use ethanol in their low–grade gasoline.
That's partly because of a federal mandate that requires an increasing percentage of fuel to come from renewable sources, plus efforts from the refineries to turn a bigger profit.
Mark Whitehead, president of Whitehead Oil Co. and owner of Lincoln area U-Stops says it's a frustrating ordeal.
"This cannot be a long–term situation," Whitehead said.
He's affiliated with Phillips 66 and therefore had to make the change. Whitehead says he'd rather give customers the choice they've always had.
"To the extent that there's enough people out there that want regular unleaded, we've got to figure out how to provide it," Whitehead said.
Nebraska is one of the last states to conform to the federal regulation. By the end of the year, all gas companies affiliated with big oil will be offering two ethanol blends instead of the usual one.