Monopoly 101: Block Access to the Competition

The oil industry has done more than try to discredit alcohol fuel. They’ve actively blocked our access to it. We have 160,000 stations today with gasoline pumps and only 2,900 stations with at least one E85 pump (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline), and not one station selling M85 (85% methanol, 15% gasoline).

Most of the 2,900 E85 pumps are at independent stations because oil companies have tried to block E85 being sold at their stations. They’ve used several tactics according to a report by the Consumer Federation of America. One is a requirement that the franchise owners must buy all their fuel from the oil company. Another is requiring franchise owners to sign a contract that limits how much they can advertise E85. Some contracts dictate that if a station owner puts in an E85 pump, it must be on a separate island and not under the main canopy. Loren Beard, senior manager for energy planning and policy for Chrysler put it succinctly: “Big Oil is at the top of the list for blocking the spread of ethanol acceptance by consumers and the marketplace.”

Excerpted from the book, Fill Your Tank With Freedom.

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