How Minnesota Led the Way

Twenty years ago, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to require a 10 percent blend of ethanol be added to almost all grades of gasoline.  Sometimes referred to as E10, this gasoline-ethanol mix helps to make the fuel burn cleaner and reduces the state’s need for imported petroleum. It also eliminated an air quality problem in the Twin Cities few people were aware of – carbon monoxide levels were exceeding federal health guidelines. After E10 was established statewide, carbon monoxide levels lowered to below health standards, even though there are significantly more people and more vehicles in the metro area than there were in 1997.

Just as most people were unaware that carbon monoxide levels had risen, they noticed no difference in the new blend of gasoline. E10 had already been rolled out in the metro area, and when the change went statewide, Minnesotans saw little if any change in price, availability or performance.

Today, a 15 percent gasoline-ethanol blend (E15) is rapidly becoming available in Minnesota. Like E10, this fuel burns cleaner than traditional gasoline. With its slightly higher ethanol content, drivers see a boost in the octane rating from regular 87 to 88, yet this 88 octane gasoline is usually priced below regular unleaded, making it a very popular fuel with Minnesota drivers.

E15 is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for vehicles model year 2001 or newer, which represents the vast majority of cars and trucks on the road today. Minnesota now has more than 200 stations selling E15, and the number is expected to grow as more drivers ask for the fuel that costs less, but delivers more. You can find a complete list of stores selling 88 octane gasoline at MNFuels.com.

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