Oxygenated fuel season could start later

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    Utah County Commission Chairman Jerry Grover has petitioned the state to limit the amount of time residents must use oxygenated fuel.

    Grover, who also chairs the county Clean Air Coalition, wants the state Air Quality Board to start the annual oxygenated fuel season two weeks later and to end it two weeks earlier.

    Ursula K. Trueman, director of the Division of Air Quality, said her division will consider Grover’s request.

    Six months ago, the air board turned down a similar request to end the program six weeks earlier to allow critics to demonstrate that the fuel has little, if any, effect on carbon monoxide levels in Provo and Orem.

    The oxygenated fuel season runs from Nov. 1 through the last day of February. During that time, Utah County gas stations sell gasoline mixed with grain alcohol or other oxygen-boosting chemicals in order to reduce tailpipe emissions.

    Critics like Grover claim the fuel is ineffective and actually hurts the environment by adding more nitrogen oxide, a particulate-forming gas, to the air. Others complain the gas robs their car engines of power, reduces gas mileage and fouls gas filters.

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