The winter blend mix started shipping nationwide in mid September. The
cheaper gas prices lately are in some way the result of the change,
since the winter blend is cheaper to produce than the summer blend,
which contains additives to reduce heat related pollution.
It's not at all clear to me there's any significant difference in the
actual cost of the blends at all--most of the cost associated w/ the
blending is actually simply the requirements for extra handling and
segregation of product streams, etc., ...
The reduction at the pump is directly tied to the drop in market
price--from peak of nearly $150/bbl to close yesterday under $90.
Basically, yes, for climates where it's cold enough to really make any
difference. Much of the US really doesn't get cold enough to matter much.
I'm not all that certain what specifically is in the "veritable
plethora" of various blends required for the specific EPA and
state/local mandates for pollution controls. Ethanol is one component
So what? It's for the children (and the trees and the Star-Faced mole, and
the unicorns, and the rainbows).
I believe in the Chicago area, there are several DIFFERENT blends mandated
(eleven, if memory serves), all in the same county.
Winter blends contain more butane which probably does not reduce mileage
but if you add ethanol, then ethanol does reduce mileage. Don't think
they have added more than 10% ethanol here and its used year round.
The fine hand of the EPA and states like the land of the fruits and the
nuts with all the boutique gasoline blends have made a mess of things.
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