|Case Date:||March 27, 1998|
Alabama Attorney General Opinions 1998. AGO 1998-117. 1998-117March 27, 1998Honorable H.E. Monroe, Jr. Commissioner, State of Alabama Department of Revenue Montgomery, Alabama 36132 Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund - Gasoline - Motor Fuels - Code of Alabama section 22-35-3(9) Natural gasoline is not a motor fuel within the meaning of section 22-35-3 of the Code of Alabama.Dear Mr. Monroe: This opinion of the Attorney General is issued in response to your request. QUESTION Is natural gasoline included in the definition of "motor fuels" under Section 22-35-3(9) of the Code of Alabama? FACTS AND ANALYSIS In 1988 the Alabama Legislature enacted the Alabama Aboveground and Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund. ALA. CODE § 22-35-1, et seq. (1997). As stated in your request:
(the Trust Fund) established a reserve account in the amount of $10, 000, 000.00 to finance the rehabilitation of contaminated sites after the release of harmful substances into the soil or water system. Fees are paid into the account by owners of motor fuel which is withdrawn from bulk facilities within the state or imported from a bulk facility in another state. The fees paid by the owners are based on the amount of gallons of motor fuel involved.As stated above, fees are assessed to owners of aboveground or underground storage tanks used for the storage, use, or dispensing of motor fuels. ALA. CODE §§ 22-35-3(5), 22-35-5 (1997). Motor fuels, as used in this section, are defined as:
All grades of gasoline including gasohol or any gasoline blend, number 1 diesel, number 2 diesel, kerosene and all aviation fuels.ALA. CODE § 22-35-3(9) (1997). Your question concerns whether natural gasoline falls within the definition of motor fuels as provided above. Natural gasoline is a light, volatile, liquid hydrocarbon mixture that is obtained by fractionating natural gas; unlike gasoline, which is a product obtained by refining or distilling crude oil. See, Williams and Myers, Manual of Oil and Gas Terms, 151. Natural gasoline has a low octane rating and is more volatile than commercial motor fuel. Id. Furthermore, natural gasoline alone is unsuitable for use as a motor fuel; however, it is sometimes used as a low cost extender in gasoline. Id. Natural gasoline is commonly referred to as a gasoline blendstock because it is often blended with other...
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