CHICAGO (CBS) — A City Council panel on Monday will weigh a proposal to require Chicago gas stations to sell mid-grade ethanol gasoline, also known as E15.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke (14th) and Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) have called for a requirement that all Chicago self-serve gas stations carry E15, which they said could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and might be less expensive than regular gasoline.
E15 is a gasoline that contains 15 percent ethanol.
Jim Watson, executive director of the Illinois Petroleum Council, said there’s really no demand for E15, citing an American Automobile Association study suggesting less than 10 percent of vehicles on the road are approved by manufacturers to use the fuel.
“Most of the major auto manufacturers have testified that this product will not operate in a majority of the cars out there,” he said. “When you say, ‘Okay, we want to provide this cheaper fuel, cleaner fuel,’ everybody does that. But this is not that answer.”
He said converting stations to sell E15 would be prohibitively expensive.
“It’s not only would they have to add a pump, they would probably have to add a special tank, because the equipment that it takes to handle and dispense E15 is not the same as the equipment that’s in the ground in almost every station right now,” he said.
However, backers of E15 have said it’s safe for most cars, and better for the environment.
The Finance Committee was set to hold a hearing on the proposed E15 mandate at 1 p.m. Monday at City Hall.