Reader Question: Reformulated Gas?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Karl asks: Colorado might possibly be forced to sell reformulated gasoline this summer due to the horrible wildfires that we get smoke from each summer that come from other states. They say it will cost 51 cents more per gallon possibly. Is there anything else I should be aware of with this gas?

My reply: RFG is required in various areas (see here for where in my state, VA).  The claim is that smog can be reduced by adding what are styled “oxygenates” to the fuel – typically, MTBE and also ethanol. These (supposedly) result in “cleaner” combustion and so, lower exhaust emissions. However, the gains today are probably trivial because modern cars already emit very little in the way of meaningful pollution. RFG may have made a difference 40 years ago, when most cars emitted much more pollution because they lacked electronic controls (especially electronic fuel injection) but now it’s mostly about politics and – of course – money.

A jump of 50 cents per gallon seems unlikely to me, though. Well, unlikely solely on account of RFG. The Biden Thing’s policies have caused the cost of gas to almost double and they may do that again.

But that’s got nothing to do with RFG!

. . .

Got a question about cars, bikes or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in! Or email me directly at [email protected] if the @!** “ask Eric” button doesn’t work!

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