Because of ethanol, the price spread between regular and premium gasoline is narrower percentagewise than it once was, according to the Energy Information Administration. Americans paid an average of $3.52 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Tuesday, compared with $3.85 per gallon of premium, a report by AAA showed. According to EIA figures, the percentage spread in 2001 was much larger, at about 17%. "As the percentage of ethanol in gasoline grows, higher octane blendstock becomes relatively cheaper," the EIA stated.

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