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A first for Meijer - opening two new Michigan stations WITHOUT E85


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#1 #1BigHero6Fan

#1BigHero6Fan

    The Hiro Hamada of the ethanol world!

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 07:52 PM

This is absolutely inexcusable. I've been sounding the horn for years that northern Michigan, effectively from the 45th parallel northward, has a massive E85 gap that is essentially prohibitive to those who want to use the fuel. This has slowly been changing for the better, with Meijer and Speedway either opening new stations or adding E85 to existing stores in places like Cheboygan, Gaylord, Alpena, and Grayling.

However, it has come to my attention (and I confirmed by phone this evening) that Meijer stations which opened up within the last month in Escanaba and the Canadian border town of Sault Ste Marie, do NOT have E85. This is unfortunate, and inexcusable. Meijer was the first major company to commit to E85, over a decade ago in 2006.

One might say that it has always been prohibitive to sell E85 in the Upper Peninsula. Demand is too low in part due to lower population density and FFV density. A station near Marquette which dropped E85 in recent years, mentioned to my dad when he was up there that a supplier in the roundabout-obsessed city of Green Bay was charging them $4.20/gallon for E85. There is no production of ethanol in the Upper Peninsula, and any sold there is typically trucked in from out of state.

But here's where I call the bluff of Meijer or anyone who might attempt to justify this.
Meijer is one of the largest corporations in Michigan - after all, the Meijer family themselves is in fact the richest family in the pothole state. So Meijer can afford to take a loss. Regardless of that however, Meijer has the capability of negotiating with suppliers in ways that smaller retailers can not.

What I want to know is why I STILL have to carry 40 gallons of E85 in the trunk any time I go to the UP, and why no one in the ethanol industry besides me is sounding the horn on this one.
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