EL DORADO, Ark. -- After several successful introductions of the new fuel in Iowa, Murphy USA Inc. has announced the expansion of a program that will bring E15 to consumers in the suburbs of Chicago and Houston this year.
"We are excited to offer E15 in addition to our existing product offerings. Murphy USA will continue to pursue opportunities to offer the fuel our customers desire," said a spokesperson for Murphy USA.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved E15, a blend of 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol, for use in model-year 2001 and newer passenger vehicles and all flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, can only be used in FFVs.
"Growth Energy applauds Murphy USA's ongoing commitment to bring higher blends of homegrown renewable fuels to the American motorist," said Tom Buis, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based Growth Energy, which represents the producers and supporters of ethanol. "Their dedication to providing the consumer with the best, most cost-effective product is commendable. Furthermore, we are thrilled to see Murphy USA's success and decision to expand into new markets. Higher blends such as E15 are helping reduce our dependence on foreign oil, improve our environment through reduced emissions and support our domestic economy by creating jobs that cannot be outsourced."
The approval encompasses more than 80% of the vehicles on the road today, according to Growth Energy. In U.S. Department of Energy tests, it said, 86 vehicles, representing all makes and models, were driven more than six million miles with no issues. E15 has been available for more than two years and not a single issue has been attributed to the fuel, it added.
"Offering E15 is a win for retailers and consumers," Buis said. "Retailers offering E15 have a competitive price advantage, while consumers are able to purchase a lower cost, better performing fuel compared to regular unleaded gasoline. We are thrilled to see Murphy USA expand their footprint and look forward to additional retail chains following their lead."
The debate continues over the use of E15. Many fuel, automotive and small-engine industry experts believe E15 still has the potential to damage engines, especially if motorists, boaters or others refueling unapproved vehicles confuse it with other fuels. But more retailers have begun offering the fuel.
Based in El Dorado, Ark., Murphy USA, a leading marketer of retail motor fuel products and convenience merchandise, opened its first convenience store in Chattanooga, Tenn., in December 1996. Today, Murphy USA operates more than 1,200 c-stores in 23 states.