Glenn Peterson watched PUMP the Movie on iTunes recently. And frankly, it made him angry. Which can be a good thing, if you take that anger and turn it into something constructive.
The part of the film that motivated Glenn to do his small part to end our oil addiction was when Jason Bateman, in that soothing voice of his, mentions that you can look on the Internet to find fueling stations that sell ethanol blends. As it happened, Glenn already owned a flex-fuel vehicle, a 2011 Chrysler Town & Country. Like 17 million other FFVs on the road in the U.S., it was made to run on E85.
Glenn went on E85Prices.com and found a Propel Fuels station about 10 miles from his home in San Diego that sells E85 (a blend that’s actually between 51 percent and 83 percent ethanol, the rest traditional gasoline).
“It was $3.06,” Glenn said, noting that regular 87-octane gas, E10, was selling for about 20 percent more. “So I filled up then, and anytime I thought of it afterwards, I would go there. It’s a little out of the way, but not that far out of the way.
“If a bunch of people do a bunch of small things, it’s like one big thing. And unfortunately … I talk to people at where I work about E85, and it’s just amazing, the misconceptions. I work with a lot of really smart computer people … it’s like they’ve got that part of their mind closed. And I don’t get it.”
Glenn, 54, bought the van in 2012, and a few months later he drove his family to his hometown of Minot, N.D., on vacation. He already knew about FFVs and E85, but even though he was on the lookout for stations that sold the fuel, he couldn’t find any. On the trip back, they pulled off I-80 in Rock Springs, Wyo., and spotted an E85 sign at a Kum & Go station.
“My wife took a picture of me fueling up. I was just so happy I finally found it!” Glenn said.
But his wife drove the van more than he did, and it was just more convenient to fill up at Costco whenever she went shopping there. Then came PUMP, and now the Petersons are an E85 family.
So what got him so angry watching it?
“I was just so mad at [Standard Oil baron John D.] Rockefeller for everything he did, to basically get us into the mess we are now. But I’ll also admit the government and … we basically let that happen to us. So we are as addicted to oil as we can be.
“And oh by the way, I called Costco. I talked the guy who runs their gas program and asked him why they didn’t have E85. He didn’t think there would be a demand. And I’m like, ‘Well, you’re mistaken, sir.”
That reminds us, Glenn: After you’re done watching PUMP and ready to get involved, one of our projects is to convince as many independent fueling retailers (the ones who aren’t obliged to sell a particular oil company’s gasoline) as possible to offer alternative fuels to their customers.
Sign our petition asking them to do just that. And keep sharing your stories about high gas prices and solutions with us! You can also join the conversation on Fuel Freedom’s Facebook page and on Twitter.