Magellan Midstream Partners, a company specializing in refined petroleum products with a 9,600-mile pipeline through the midwest, will eliminate shipments of regular unleaded gasoline to Iowa starting in September. So Iowans will see changes to the fuel they put in their cars and trucks.
"(They) will be eliminating a clear, unblended 87 octane gasoline," Lucy Norton, managing director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said. "It is the minimum gas that can be sold. It's being replaced with an 84 octane gasoline."
The replacement gasoline will be blended with another product so it can be sold to drivers, according to Norton.
"This is the first change to fuels in 30 years or so, since lead was banned from gasoline,"Norton said. "So there are some significant decisions that need to be made."
It was decided by the pipeline customers to take this approach. And according to Norton, the midwest is the last part of the country to make this conversion.
"Iowa's fuel retailers and distributors are challenged with determining what fuels to offer customers that make the best sense for their business," Norton said.
One of the options is E15, an ethanol blended gasoline - even though it is meant for vehicles from 2001 and on. So far in Iowa there are six retailers who sell E15. It's a high octane fuel, and with the tax incentives from the state and the cost of ethanol, it would be the cheapest product available if offered.
"Customers will see different products at the pumps, with different prices. The cost of non-ethanol blends will increase," Norton said.