A personal note from a from a friend of mine in the Albany area:
First, let me assure you that this is NOT one of those obnoxious forwards - it is something I am writing out of my own frustration with the gasoline situation, and I'm doing it to give you information that you might find useful.
To save you time you may not want to spend reading this whole thing, here's the main point:
DON'T BUY GASOLINE WITH ETHANOL IN IT.
You'll get very poor mileage, stink up your interior and support the wrong idea about energy independence.
Now I'll give the longer version of my diatribe, based on direct experience, not on the input of other ravers (which I imagine is also readily available).
You may have noticed in recent weeks when you filled up that there are stickers on some pumps announcing that the gas is "maximum 10% ethanol." This is because a number of boneheaded politicians have allowed a very wealthy agribusiness lobby to convince them that this is the way toward energy independence (it's not - reduction in use would be a start, but no one in government seems to be advocating that idea). What amounts to a huge giveaway to corn farmers (poor they are not) is also threatening worse pollution of the Gulf of Mexico (through greater chemical runoffs) and a
grotesque misuse of farmland that should be producing food.
I've unwittingly used a few tankfuls of the evil stuff, before realizing that it was doing bad things to my car. The big head-scratcher was that I was suddenly getting the worst mileage I've ever gotten with this 14-year-old Acura Integra (it's like a gussied-up Honda Civic and averages well over 30 mpg). Was it the cold weather? tire pressure? age? oil leaks?
At first, I didn't connect the dots, but now I'm certain that the poorly burning veggie fuel is reducing my mileage by 10-15%. It has been confirmed to me by credible sources that ethanol is known to be cheaper (wholesale) and to give worse mileage. However, so far, it is not proving to be cheaper at the pump - so, with the worse mileage it is in fact a lot more expensive, not to mention more polluting (because you have to use more of it to go the same distance). And it adds to the profits of its sellers by causing unwitting customers to need to fill up more often.
It is also apparently giving off noxious fumes that make me feel lousy, but that's not been confirmed elsewhere.
Ethanol gas has become suddenly popular with area distributors because it is brought in through the Port of Albany for the whole Northeast, and therefore is especially cheap locally (wholesale) due to the short distance it must be trucked. But the distributors are not passing on these savings to the consumers, and they certainly aren't publicizing the fact that it is an inferior product. They are, however, trying to seem environmentally sensitive, which is a load.
I've seen this junk at Stewart's, Lukoil and Sunoco; also, I've heard that Cumberland Farms has it. So far, I know that Mobil still sells pure gasoline; I've also heard that Hess and Getty do, too - and the rest I don't know about one way or the other.
So, my advice to you is not to buy ethanol, and instead to find a station near you that sells the good stuff. I don't really care where the gasoline comes from - that's a rather complicated global political business that we can't do much about - but getting the best possible mileage and polluting less are definitely good things we can do by not using bad gas.
As for the politics - well, we can start by getting rid of the Republicans, but you already knew that.
Thanks for listening, and feel free to pass this on (but please don't overdo it!).
yours truly, D