Zarco 66 Stations to Sport Newly Created Brand

LAWRENCE, Kans. -- Zarco 66, the first convenience store retailer in the United States to sell E15 at the pump, now sports a new name.

According to a blog posting written by Oil Express, the news outlet of Oil Price Information Service, Scott Zaremba, owner of eight Kansas City-area gas stations and convenience stores, has changed the name of the locations from Zarco 66 to Zarco USA.

In addition, on Monday, Zaremba began to take down Phillips 66 signs at his stores. All signage is expected to be replaced by his newly created "American Fuels" brand by tomorrow.

Phillips 66 forced Zaremba to rebrand, reported the news outlet. The Big Oil company allegedly only allowed him to sell E15 -- a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline -- under the canopy from the yellow-hosed flex-fuel dispenser, which would restrict sales to flex-fuel vehicles.

"I had to rebrand to bring the consumer E15," Zaremba told the news source.

Phillips 66 also required Zaremba to sell premium gasoline and promptly increased the price per gallon of such fuel by 20 to 40 cents above the expected market price, Oil Express reported.

Zarco USA will promote E15 by selling the fuel to the public for $1.99 per gallon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at one location tomorrow.

Forty gas stations in nine states currently sell E15 at the pump, according to Fuels America. The alternative fuel currently sells for an average of 10 to 20 cents per gallon less than regular gasoline. It is only recommended for use in vehicles model year 2001 or newer.

E15 has been the subject of considerable controversy. Multiple auto manufacturers have stated they would not honor warranty claims if E15 fuel is used.

Also, the American Petroleum Institute and AAA have expressed concerns about E15 due to possible engine problems it can cause, as well as the fact that a study conducted by the latter showed that more than 90 percent of the general public is unaware of the fuel alternative.

Despite these concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency approved the sale of E15 in 2012, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this decision in June.

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