Ask The Advocate: Alcohol-free gas in BR

Why can we not buy alcohol-free gasoline in Baton Rouge? We also have been informed that (the) law requires a notice on the gasoline pump when the gasoline contains alcohol …, but when alcohol-free, no notice is required. Thus the signs on the side of the road: “ALCOHOL FREE” in front of the stations.

Good news. We found two websites on the Internet that list hundreds of gasoline stations and grocery and convenience stores in Louisiana, including many in Baton Rouge, that sell ethanol-free gasoline from at least one pump.

The two websites are http://www.petelandrysrealgas.com, with an alphabetical list by parish and city of more than 900 stations, and http://www.pure-gas.org, which lists stations in the United States and Canada and can be searched by state and city to find more than 200 stations in Louisiana. We called a few stations listed in Baton Rouge to confirm they sell ethanol-free gasoline from at least one pump.

Both websites are interactive, allowing motorists who find stations with ethanol-free gasoline pumps to add those locations to their lists or eliminate ones that no longer have ethanol-free gasoline.

One website says it is maintained by Alton “Pete” Landry, a retired chemist and avid south Louisiana fisherman, who is concerned about the potential effects of ethanol on boat motors, lawnmowers and other gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment. The other website notes similar concerns.

If you don’t have a computer and Internet access through a smartphone, consider asking a relative, friend or neighbor who does to print out the websites’ gas station lists. You also could go to your nearest library branch and use one of its computers to look up the lists.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, which regulates gasoline stations, said it does not maintain a directory of stations that sell ethanol-free gas.

You are correct that state law says that a station must have a label on each fuel dispenser to inform the public that the pump dispenses gasoline blended with ethanol. You may need to look closely for pumps that do not have ethanol.

The department said it does test gasoline samples for the presence of ethanol and the percentage of ethanol in the fuel.

The department cautioned that a gas station’s fuel supply can vary day to day. A station that has ethanol-free gas one day may get a shipment of gasoline containing ethanol the following day or week.

Consumers with concerns can contact LDAF’s Weights and Measures about fuel testing at (225) 925-3780 or (800) 247-1086 or by email at info@ldaf.state.la.us.

Send questions to Ask The Advocate, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0588; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0297; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.