PROVO, Utah (AP) -- For the first time in 13 years, Utah County motorists did not find oxygenated fuel waiting at the pumps for them when the winter driving season got under way Monday.
This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency lifted the order requiring Utah County gas stations to sell oxygenated fuel between Nov. 1 and March 1.
The fuel-- gasoline mixed with grain alcohol or other oxygen-boosting chemicals -- burns more cleanly, reducing carbon monoxide pollution by 15 to 20 percent.
The decision lifting the order is temporary, but is likely to be made permanent by March 1, after the EPA takes action on the state's plan proving it can control pollution in the future.
"It's hard for us as retailers to get the word out now, to let people know we don't have that stuff," said Mark Walker, vice president of operations for Walker Oil.
Instead of putting oxygenated fuel in their cars, though, many Utah County residents drove to Juab, Salt Lake or Davis counties to get their gas, he said.
That's because some believed the blended fuel reduced their gas mileage ratio and may harm their engines, and it sometimes costs a little bit more.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)