CALIFORNIA FOCUS: A gas station we like where Green and Cheap combine
My wife and I like renting alternative energy type cars when we can. Sometimes we just plain can't afford it, but over the years when we rent a car in California we have rented an electric Rav4, a few different hybrids (we liked the Prius the best AND it gave us by far the best milage), a biodiesl VW...and this year we rented a car that takes FlexFuel, which means it can take regular gasoline or up to E85 ethanol.
When we had the biodiesl VW (which is now only available in Hawaii), we discovered a gas station called Conserv Fuel that at the time sold biodiesl fuel. We liked them and were impressed with their green approach to fuels. Sadly, they have had to cut back on their alternative fuel options due to lack of demand, I assume. But we still use them as our main gas station when we are in Southern California. First off, they are NOT owned by a big oil company like Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, etc. all of whom we hate because of their disgusting environmental, labor and business practices. Second, they still do try to offer alternative fuel options when they can. And three, even for regular gasoline they are often 10 or more cents CHEAPER per gallon than the big oil company owned stations. I guess maybe they don't have to jack up the prices to cover private jets and jumbo pay for their executives.
On our current trip we have used two Conserv Fuel stations. Up in Santa Barbara they did not have E85 Ethanol so we just gassed up on regular unleaded gasoline. They were about 10+ cents per gallon cheaper than the other stations nearby, so it was well worth it. We were able to avoid patronizing companies we hate and saved money in the process. What more could you want?
In Los Angeles we went to the Conserv Fuel station in Brentwood, the one we first discovered when we had a biodiesel. I kind of like the station anyway because it used to be a USA station back when I was a teenager and even then was the cheapest gas around. Now a Conserv Fuel and they again were 10+ cents cheaper per gallon than the other nearby stations. But the Brentwood Conserv Fuel station also had E85 ethanol, which meant we could not only reduce our carbon footprint, but the E85 ethanol was actual 30-40 cents PER GALLON cheaper than the cheapest gasoline at any other station. Better for the environment, avoiding sending our money to Saudi Arabia and oil executives, AND cheaper.
Now there is some controversy over using ethanol as fuel since it in some ways competes with food growing. But this argument, though it has some validity, is mostly put forward by the oil industry and IF DONE RIGHT, biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel SHOULD NOT have to compete with food production. I would also point out that any such competition would also apply to tobacco, alcohol we drink, etc. But in general there is enough to go around, we just need to manage it well. I have no doubt that patronizing Conserv Fuel and buying E85 fuel is a better choice than gassing up at Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Texaco or any of the other pretty much criminally greedy oil companies.
For those who have cars in Southern California, here are the Conserv Fuel stations I can track down.
11699 San Vicente Blvd & S Barrington Ave & Gorham
(this is the one we used to get E85 for our Flex Fuel rental car)
150 S La Cumbre Rd & La Cumbre Ln
SAN LUIS OBISPO:
2211 Broad St & South St
And in Northern California, in BRENTWOOD east of BERKELEY:
7920 Brentwood Blvd & Village Dr
(NOT to be confused with the station in Brentwood in Los Angeles)
So if you HAVE to gas up, this is one of the better and cheaper alternatives.
Here they are on Facebook.
And on MySpace.
Their regular website is currently under construction but hopefully will be back soon.
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