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Highway Robbery at MFA Break Time in St. Joseph

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Below is the email I sent to MFA Break-Time...

 

 

Just yesterday (Friday July 18th) my family and I stopped at your Break Time station in St. Joseph Missouri while on a family vacation. My family and I only own FFVs, and have used e85 exclusively for the last 5 years! I grew up on a small Nebraska family farm, and understand the importance of the ethanol industry in our rural economy. I despise what power the oil industry had on our economy and the world, and relish the thought of pumping money into a domestic industry, and hard workers like my family.

 

We researched our trip, and planned out where we would need to fill up. I reasoned, “Break Time” is a farmers Coop owned station, with a large retail outlet in an urban area… high volume blender pump… they should have good prices”… boy was I wrong…

  • E85 $3.19
  • E30 $3.33
  • E20 $3.36
  • E0 $3.39

I know the price of ethanol on the market, and the value of RINs. This is either cruel profiteering (damaging a market that is VITAL for your member’s business success, and taking advantage of your loyal customers), or it is gross incompetence on the part of your purchasers. Greed or incompetence! One of the two.

 

You are either pocketing huge margins, and keeping the RINs for your own gross profits (which damages the ethanol industry…), or you are blindly allowing your fuel supplier to do this, possibly with a kickback. I will be forwarding this message to the Missouri Corn Growers to let them know what sort of PR their investment in infrastructure with your company has purchased them!

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Below is a similarly based email sent to the Missouri Corn Growers...

 

Just yesterday (Friday July 18th) my family and I stopped at the Break Time station in St. Joseph Missouri while on a family vacation.  My family and I only own FFVs, and have used e85 exclusively for the last 5 years!  I grew up on a small Nebraska family farm, and understand the importance of the ethanol industry in our rural economy.  I despise what power the oil industry had on our economy and the world, and relish the thought of pumping money into a domestic industry, and hard workers like my family.

 

We researched our trip, and planned out where we would need to fill up.  I reasoned, “Break Time” is a farmers Coop owned station, with a large retail outlet in an urban area…  high volume blender pump… they should have good prices”…  boy was I wrong…

  • E85 $3.19
  • E30 $3.33
  • E20 $3.36
  • E0   $3.39

I know the price of ethanol on the market, and the value of RINs.  This is either cruel profiteering (damaging a market that is VITAL for your member’s business success, and taking advantage of your loyal customers), or it is gross incompetence on the part of your purchasers.  Greed or incompetence!  One of the two.

 

MFA Break-Time is either pocketing huge margins, and keeping the RINs for their own gross profits (which damages the ethanol industry…), or they are blindly allowing your fuel supplier to do this, possibly with a kickback.  Is this what the Missouri Corn Growers investment in infrastructure was intended to purchase?  It would have been cheaper to pay to put up a billboard 365 days a year in St. Joseph that read “ethanol… a huge waste of your transportation dollars”…  it is sending the same message.

 

Please have someone either talk to them to set them strait (stop doing this) or to educate them on how to purchase and price fuel appropriately (if they are not competent enough to do their job)…  Next time we travel into Missouri… we will be sure to top off on e85 before we enter the state, possibly bring extra containers to assure that we are not scalped by profiteering/incompetent retailers.

 

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Morning Brad.. Not sure what happened..I believe it was in 2008 when corn prices went through that MFA and Mid Missouri Ethanol Plant broke their agreement to sell E85 for at least 20% less than Gasoline..

 

For more information, please contact:
Tom May, Director of Marketing
573-876-0311 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

MFA Oil Company and Mid-Missouri Energy Announce Partnership
Aimed at Increasing Accessibility and Affordability of E85

Columbia, Mo. (May 26, 2006) – Representatives from two farmer-owner cooperatives have announced a partnership created to make E85 fuel more readily available and affordable to Missourians by offering it at 20 percent less than regular unleaded gasoline. E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline and is used in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). 

MFA Oil Company President Jerry Taylor, and Ryland Utlaut, president of Mid-Missouri Energy (MME) explained the agreement today during a press conference at MFA Oil’s corporate headquarters in Columbia. MFA Oil Company is a 77-year-old farm cooperative that distributes fuel through bulk facilities, Petro-Card 24 unattended fueling units, dealer-owned service stations and Break Time convenience stores. Mid-Missouri Energy is a farmer-owned ethanol plant near Malta Bend, Mo. 

MFA Oil Company currently offers E85 at 25 of its Break Time convenience stores and Petro-Card 24 locations. Taylor said the company is already implementing its plan to double the number of facilities equipped with E85 pumps. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) is providing part of the funding for the additional E85 pumps. 

“Our goal is to help educate consumers so that E85 becomes their fuel of choice,” Taylor said. “In doing so, we continue to demonstrate MFA Oil Company’s commitment to strengthening rural economies through support of the biofuel industry.” 

Stressing the importance of producing renewable fuels that will allow Americans to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, Taylor emphasized that ethanol and biodiesel plants have the potential to be one of the most important economic developments ever to occur in rural Missouri. “These biofuel plants not only bring farmers a better price for their crops, but they employ people and afford their farmer owners a return on their investment,” he said. 

Utlaut supported Taylor’s position, noting that ethanol production boosts Missouri’s total economic output by $205 million. He said corn used for ethanol production has historically commanded prices ranging from five to 10 cents higher than corn used for other purposes. 

Greg Steinhoff, Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and Phil Lampert, Executive Director of National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, also spoke at the event. Steinhoff expressed his support for the partnership, saying, "MFA Oil and the partnership with Mid-Missouri Energy to increase access to E-85 is a great opportunity for farmers, the environment and consumers, and Governor Blunt joins you in the commitment to furthering our renewable fuel opportunities. Once again our farm leaders are taking the initiative to not only improve their opportunities, but also the future of rural Missouri." 

Lampert added, “We are pleased to see two members of our coalition, MFA Oil Company and Mid-Missouri Energy, work closely to help Missourians obtain this renewable, locally grown fuel at a competitive price. We hope this model where ethanol producers and ethanol retailers work in concert can be duplicated across the nation thereby ensuring that the final consumer is able to take advantage of E85 priced 20 percent less than regular unleaded." 

Ethanol production currently uses nearly 13 percent of Missouri’s annual corn crop. According to a study by the University of Missouri presented to the Missouri Corn Growers, that number should grow to 30 percent when the state reaches its target ethanol production of 350 million gallons. When this occurs, it is estimated that the net increase in total output to the state’s economy will be $726 million. The same study states that each penny per bushel increase in the regional market corn basis results in a total corn crop value increase of more than $2 million. 

In March of this year, MME, which has been in operation since February 2005, announced it would double its annual production capacity in response to market demand. Ethanol plants located in Macon and Craig are also experiencing increased demand prompting the development of new plants in Sikeston, Malden and Laddonia. 

Ethanol-gasoline blends have been marketed since the 1970s. Unlike blends with lower amounts of ethanol, E85 can be used only in cars, trucks and SUVs designated by the manufacturer as flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). Although these vehicles have been available since 1998, recent high fuel prices have created greater interest in biofuels making E85 more attractive to motorists. E85 provides benefit to vehicles as well, burning cleaner than unleaded gasoline and virtually eliminating gummy deposits. 

E85 also has been proven to provide environmental benefits, including pollution reduction. Government tests have shown that E85 vehicles reduce carbon dioxide and harmful hydrocarbon and benzene emissions. 

To promote E85 awareness, Taylor announced that MFA Oil Company would give away a 2006 Ford F-150 FFV at the Fourth of July Fire in the Sky celebration in Columbia. Details and registration boxes are available at all MFA Oil Break Time, Jiffy Lube, Big O Tires and refined fuel facilities in Missouri. 

“As we move into Memorial Day weekend and begin the summer traveling season, it is the ideal time to educate Missourians how they can partner with MFA Oil Company in an effort to increase the use of E85,” Taylor concluded. “This partnership not only will benefit Missouri farmers, but will put money back into the Missouri economy in an environmentally friendly way.” 

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There is a large plant IN St. Jo, and a small one north about 30 miles or so near the Iowa border...

 

Sickening.  This was an ideal station...  large property, well placed, in an urban area with blender pumps at EVERY island!  Has all the potential to be a very high volume ethanol distribution center selling very high value fuels at every blend level...  great for the ethanol industry.

 

Instead they have THIS...  didn't even have an e10 available!  Premium, e0 regular, e20, 30, 85...  To me it sounds like they do NOT like ethanol, but HAVE to sell the stuff (by grant terms), so figured they might as well prove that there simply is not a market for the stuff. 

 

Ethanol really is single handedly responsible for saving rural america over the last 20 years.  These cooperatives, and their member farmers should realize this, and want to support their own prosperity/survival.  I don't get how this is possible.

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There is a large plant IN St. Jo, and a small one north about 30 miles or so near the Iowa border...

 

Sickening.  This was an ideal station...  large property, well placed, in an urban area with blender pumps at EVERY island!  Has all the potential to be a very high volume ethanol distribution center selling very high value fuels at every blend level...  great for the ethanol industry.

 

Instead they have THIS...  didn't even have an e10 available!  Premium, e0 regular, e20, 30, 85...  To me it sounds like they do NOT like ethanol, but HAVE to sell the stuff (by grant terms), so figured they might as well prove that there simply is not a market for the stuff. 

 

Ethanol really is single handedly responsible for saving rural america over the last 20 years.  These cooperatives, and their member farmers should realize this, and want to support their own prosperity/survival.  I don't get how this is possible.

e0 regular, e20, 30, 85   is "regular" E10 at MFA Breaktimes?

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Yes...  other than the 3 mentioned ethanol blends (20/30/85), there were two "gas grades"...  87 octane "unleaded", and 91 octane "premium unleaded".  The terms "regular and super" were never used, nor was there any "up to 10% ethanol", nor any ethanol sigage on these two blends of gas.  I snapped a picture on my phone, but have no clue how to put this onto my computer. 

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and a small one north about 30 miles or so near the Iowa border

 

 

That is Craig MO. I have friends close by and understand that some if not all of the production there is "Medical Grade" which is a money maker.

Edited by cessna

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Back when I was still in college...  the York Nebraska plant was still under it's first ownership, which was primarily local.  They were having a tough time as the fuel market was not quite there (mid 90s), so they switched to producing "phamacutical grade" ethanol...  not so dependent on the price of crude oil, or public gasoline consumption for their prices...  the plant later sold to Abengoa (spanish conglomerate).  I think they are now producing fuel grade.

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2008 was a bad year for a lot of folks. It was an amazing year to follow fuel prices, no doubt - in no year prior had we ever seen $4/gallon fuel prices, or $4/gallon fuel prices and $1.50/gallon fuel prices in the same year! 

 

Anyone who's anyone in the ethanol industry knows about VeraSun... and how the financial collapse affected them in a quiet version of Lehman Brothers. This was an unfortunate circumstance that occurred as a result of that financial collapse. 

 

Someone needs to go down there and talk to MFA break time. Now you guys feel my frustration with Meijer before they started turning things around this year. In fact, $3.19 is the price at most Meijer stores in Michigan right now (outside of the Lansing and Grand Rapids markets). My only question is where the hell Mid-Missouri Energy and the Missouri corn folks are on this.

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