He believes the state shouldn't be using E10, either, but acknowledges that it would be much more difficult to stop those sales.
According to the website pure-gas.org, which describes itself as the definitive list of stations that sell ethanol-free gas in the United States and Canada, only 18 gas stations in West Virginia sell ethanol-free fuel.
In Kanawha County, only two gas stations sell such fuel: an Exxon in Pinch and Oliver Fuels & Oils on MacCorkle Avenue in Jefferson, according to the website.
Only 12 million of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles in the United States are approved by manufacturers to use the gasoline, according to AAA. Automotive engineering experts believe that sustained use of the gas, both in newer and older vehicles, could cause accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false "check engine" lights for vehicles not approved by manufactures to use E15, according to AAA.
A survey by AAA found that 95 percent of consumers it surveyed had not heard of E15. That means that many drivers could fill their tanks with the gasoline, not knowing it's not approved for all vehicles, AAA argued.
The organization has called on the federal government to stop the sale of E15 gas until more consumer education efforts and gas pumps can be labeled to ease problems for drivers and their vehicles.
Besides problems with engines, Howell said the use of ethanol fuel -- which is made from corn -- is driving up the costs for food.
"It's bad for consumers all around," he said.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.