EPA Announces Leaded Fuel Endangerment Finding

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In a long-anticipated move, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today (Jan. 12) that it “will take the necessary steps to regulate lead pollution from aircrafts (sic).” Those steps start with proposing an “endangerment finding” on leaded aviation gasoline, expected by the end of this year. Finalizing that finding is expected in 2023.

The EPA announcement listed a rash of damning statistics, including the number of piston aircraft using leaded fuels (170,000) and the number of airports from which they operate (20,000). The EPA announcement projects that 70 percent of all lead introduced to the atmosphere comes from those aircraft, and that people who live close to airports (“over 5 million people, including more than 360,000 children under the age of five”) are most vulnerable.

For many years, the case for banning leaded aviation fuel has been a tug-of-war between the EPA and the FAA, which has resisted the ban based on safety factors involving the risk of detonation, specifically among high-performance engines. Swift Fuels has supplemental type certificates (STCs) available for its UL94 unleaded fuel for 33 Lycoming engine series (up to the AEIC-540-D) and for 24 Continental engine series (up to the TSIO-550-K). As for those higher-power engines not yet covered under the STC program, the company posts on its website, “Swift Fuels has been conducting extensive scientific research, fuel testing, engine testing, and flight testing on all viable high-octane alternatives to replace 100LL [low-lead] since 2012. Our number 1 candidate to fully replace 100LL is a premium 100-octane unleaded avgas product that is already patented and is currently undergoing testing and certification with the FAA.”

General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI) co-founder George Braly asserted last summer that his company’s G100UL drop-in replacement for 100LL, which has STCs available for a growing number of engines, is expected to be approved for “literally several hundreds of additional makes and models of popular engines,” with “fleetwide expansion” of the list of approved aircraft models by the first or second quarter of this year. He estimates the retail cost of the STCs to be on par with those aircraft owners acquire to use automotive gasoline.

According to both developers of unleaded aviation formulas, the benefits of cleaner lead-free fuel include lower maintenance costs and longer engine life. Unleaded avgas will be more expensive, at least in the beginning. Braly estimates retail prices 60 to 85 cents more per gallon initially. But both companies expect economies of scale to bring the costs closer to today’s 100LL as production and delivery infrastructure gains traction.

The quest for an unleaded 100-octane fuel has been underway since the 1980s, when lead was phased out of automobile fuels to protect the catalytic converters then being introduced to reduce toxic emissions. Under the banner of safety, the aviation industry was given a pass on phasing out leaded fuels because no ready octane enhancers were available, despite years of research. In 2013, the FAA established the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative with the task of overseeing certification of a fleetwide unleaded 100-octane fuel. PAFI was supposed to deliver results in 2018 but delayed that until 2019 before it became apparent that the initiative produced no results. The FAA recently organized two meetings of regulators and industry stakeholders to embark on yet another round of testing and research. These deliberations have not been made public.

Shell was considered a leading contender for a replacement fuel, but pulled out of the PAFI project. Swift was similarly involved, but also ended its PAFI participation, apparently to pursue a fuel approval under an STC process. General Aviation Modifications Inc. had its G100UL unleaded fuel approved by STC in July 2021 and is currently conducting additional testing to expand engine eligibility. It has entered an agreement with Avfuel to manufacture and distribute G100UL.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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62 COMMENTS

  1. “ The EPA announcement projects that 70 percent of all lead introduced to the atmosphere comes from those aircraft,”

    Of course it does, in the tiny limited amounts released in the atmosphere.
    HOWEVER, Most lead that finds it’s way into people is from Lead in from water! Hello? Flint Michigan? Any lead in people is not primarily from the limited number of planes using LL in the USA. If it was a problem TEST PILOTS blood levels.

    God I hate this pseudo-science BS.

      • I think it’s important to do more than smell test. Read this report from Reid Hillview airport. You can’t just dismiss something without actually looking at its evidence. Yes I am a pilot, yes I fly out of the bay area, and ya it does concern me that 100LL even in relatively small GA amounts could have an impact on kids health. Also, better for all airports if we go lead free because it removes an argument to shut them down. https://news.sccgov.org/sites/g/files/exjcpb956/files/documents/RHV-Airborne-Lead-Study-Report.pdf

        • Thanks for the link! Figure 6 specifically shows that the source is probably not from leaded gas. Combine that with the fact that they did not include actual air sample data and you see how they cleverly used correlation to infer a conclusion. That’s not science; it’s a funded and biased.

          • Really. The report is over 100 pages and you can tell just by looking at one chart that the information is bogus?

            I quickly scanned the report and it looks like there is a correlation between the level of piston traffic and the BLL in children around Reid Hillview.

    • I’m with you, Arthur. The statement from EPA just doesn’t pass the smell test. For our leaded-fuel burning engines to contribute that great a percentage of lead to our breathable air they’d have to be chugging along simultaneously a good part of every day. (Opinion)
      It’s unfortunate that we don’t know who to trust these days and even more unfortunate that questionable statements like these from EPA aren’t thoroughly researched before they’re given credence.

          •  “According to both developers of unleaded aviation formulas, the benefits of cleaner lead-free fuel include lower maintenance costs and longer engine life.”

            I agree with this and do not mind 100LL morphing into a non-leaded alternative, as long as the price is similar.

            One of the reasons I specified my Maule be built with an O-360 was so that I could use Mogas when 100LL was forced out of production.

            As AJ mentioned however, the same government forces many states to contaminate their fuel with alcohol, which invalidates the STC and forces us to burn 100LL again.

            Its like the feds are trying to force us out of aviation…

            Ya think?

          • The EPA may enforce the ethanol mandate, but the ethanol mandate itself originates from Congress due to political pressure from Senators, Congresswomen and voters in the corn-growing states of the midwest. In every presidential election cycle you see our politicians from both parties kowtow to the corn industry when candidates start touring Iowa for the Iowa caucuses.

          • Some brands of road gasoline do not have ethanol in their super-premium version, for a super price. Fiefdoms that specify a minimum average or such calculation across total sales may do that, B.C. for example where Chevron sells super-premium without ethanol.

            Hopefully STCS do not constrain octane at high end.

        • I have Mogas-STC (Peterson) since 1990 when 80 went away. My O470R cannot stand a stead diet of 100LL. When I switched to mogas in ’91 three mechanics told me the engine would fail within 100 hours. The engine was a factory reman with 250 hours when I bought it and ran to 2750 hours when I overhauled it due to changes in oil analysis only. Three engine builders told me they wouldn’t touch the engine. I finally found one who would after lecturing me on the evils of mogas. A day into the tear down he asked me to come to the shop and showed me the engine telling me it was the cleanest engine he’d ever torn down. The metal changes were from early cam wear, not uncommon in these engines but the cyls themselves were in great shape.

          I have occasionally run into mogas-ETOH issues, including once at an airport. I do test. I fly regularly to Minnesota where ETOH free mogas is widely available. I tried to get the local FBO to carry it in an unused tank, but they refused. Michigan is another story. I fly about 200 hours a year on 90+% mogas.

          If the FAA is serious, there is a substantial number of low compression engines originally certified for 80 which will run just fine on ETOH free mogas. Get it to the airports and we’ll buy it. They should also buy an STC from either Peterson or the EAA and make it available to any owner/operator and make it legal for Pt 135 ops. This will reduce the minuscule amount of lead emissions from a/c to an even more minuscule amount and reduce, but not eliminate (sigh) the controversy.

    • Please read that study critically; knowing who funded it and what they wanted to hear. See that the massive data never directly measured airborne lead. That would be job #1 if you actually wanted to convince a scientist of a causal link. I think that glaring issue is why the 113 page document does not have a “conclusion” but just a collection of inferences. Sorry gents, It’s scientific horseshit if you wanted to prove airborne 100LL is causal.

    • Brent thanks for this but you’re talking to a cartoon caricature of everyone who has ever felt put-upon by “do-gooders” and can’t let it go. Even the name is from a movie.

      I was the oldest in my family and we lived beside a busy road for the first 7 years of my life. My airborne lead exposure was 30 percent higher than the next child, 50 percent more than the following one, etc. My scores on a number of measures are in line with that level of exposure. I was given enough brains to largely outweigh the intellectual and personality deficits that has caused. Plenty were not as lucky. The arguments against dealing with issues like lead are being made by people who clearly haven’t had to confront harsh realities of things we’ve done in good faith but which had unexpectedly negative side effects. For the good faith people among them, it’s obviously a minor issue being beaten up as an attack on principles or specific interests they believe are more important. For people like me it doesn’t matter. I just don’t want kids now to ever wonder how smart they could have been.

  2. There is no acceptable minimum safe level of exposure to lead for children. 100LL is done like dinner. Rather than fighting to keep 100LL, I think everyone should be acknowledging that 100LL must be phased out but advocate for an orderly transition to UL Avgas over a realistic time frame.

    • Until recently, there *was* no replacement for 100LL, full stop. I think someone at the EPA got wind of GAMI’s UL100 fuel and said “see, now we can issue an endangerment finding and they have a solution”.

      We’d all like to see 100LL phased out, but there’s also the reality that it’s not an easy fix, and simply grounding aircraft is not the solution either.

  3. “The EPA announcement projects that 70 percent of all lead introduced to the atmosphere comes from those aircraft, and that people who live close to airports (“over 5 million people, including more than 360,000 children under the age of five”) are most vulnerable.”

    Sounds just like the CDC on COVID.

    (Maybe wearing a mask will help?)

  4.  “According to both developers of unleaded aviation formulas, the benefits of cleaner lead-free fuel include lower maintenance costs and longer engine life.”

    I agree with this and do not mind 100LL morphing into a non-leaded alternative, as long as the price is similar.

    One of the reasons I specified my Maule be built with an O-360 was so that I could use Mogas when 100LL was forced out of production.

    As AJ mentioned however, the same government forces many states to contaminate their fuel with alcohol, which invalidates the STC and forces us to burn 100LL again.

    Its like the feds are trying to force us out of aviation…

    Ya think?

  5. The EPA is living proof of the old saying that “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then all problems become nails”. The EPA only cares about the environment, period. They don’t care if they ground every gasoline burning airplane in the country. They don’t care if it poses an economic hardship for tens of thousands of pilots and aircraft owners. Over the years they have wreaked havoc on hundreds of businesses in the name of protecting the environment based on anecdotal “evidence” and shaky “scientific” studies. Ethanol in gasoline is a classic example of poor science. While the EPA did not come up with that idea, they certainly ran with it because it supposedly lowered air pollution. The fact that the FAA successfully got a court to agree that they control air operations instead of the EPA, the EPA has chafed at that limitation for decades. Now that there are some alternatives to leaded avgas, they have the power to get control again. And, once again, they DON”T CARE whether it costs more or whether the distribution chain for making and dispensing the fuels does not yet exist. They can finally start pounding on that long inaccessible nail again.

    Just to be clear, I am very happy that Swift and GAMI took the initiative to (independent of government “help”) develop lead free fuels. I look forward to lower maintenance and a cleaner, longer lasting, engine. But, it doesn’t do me much good if I can’t afford to fly due to a much higher fuel cost, or I can’t get fuel because my airport doesn’t yet carry either one. Instead of pursuing a finding of endangerment, the EPA needs to work WITH the FAA and the oil industry to create a smooth transition to unleaded fuels. For once, they should put down the hammer and come up with better solutions.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. If the EPA succeeds in banning lead in aviation gas before a replacement is readily available, get ready for turbine powered trainers along with the costs involved. Think training costs have gone through the roof now, wait until EPA gets what it wants!

    • “The EPA is living proof of the old saying that “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then all problems become nails”. The EPA only cares about the environment, period.”

      Thankyou.

      Environmentalists have a practice of exaggerating, doing sloppy work, and not integrating (not considering all factors).

      For example, they were flapping about a huge loss of glacier area in the Himalayas. Finally someone looked at photos and determined that someone in an eco-activist group had misplaced a decimal point, then a UN agency repeated the error, then many climate apocalyptics burped it up.

      Nearby eco-activists were flapping that there were only 200 Irrawaddy dolphins left on earth, in a lake in India. Eventually someone looked in a river estuary next door in Bangladesh and found several hundred more. Then someone asked ‘Where did that odd name come from?’ – answer is a river to the east, where several thousand live.

      A subtlety that may instruct for aviation is that some eco-flappers assumed the dolphins would not live in salt water, overlooking that the lake in India has ocean water influx part of the year thus is partly salty, as estuaries are. (Not that species can’t adapt – some sharks go well upriver.)

      Akin to get-home-itis.

  6. The EPA statement (70%..) needs clarification at a minimum and serious fact checking. To start: do they know how many cars and trucks in the world today are still using leaded gas? In places like South America there are millions of vehicles still sucking leaded gas (ie Venezuela). So how can a fleet of GA that is a tiny percentage of all vehicles and are used even less than surface vehicles account for 70% of lead in the atmosphere??

    Lead is bad and needs to go, but do it right.

      • No country now uses leaded gas for cars; the last country phased it out a couple of months back.
        Your information is incorrect and irrelevant, because what is done badly in another place is no excuse for doing it badly in your place.
        People keep goats in the house in some countries; does that mean you should?
        The only source of TEL is Octel in England; if they cease producing it, the issue changes drastically.
        The TEL is shipped in a very old ship, which could go out of service, or the local authorities could ban the operation.
        The problem of leaded fuel will not go away with denial.

  7. Egypt also I believe, FWIW. I think Egypt also has the plant that makes the lead used in the Avgas.

    Also, a car website I visit, Jalopnik, has taken up on this issue, and the responses are terribly negative against us GA people. Some of it is as expected, but clearly facts are obscure to some people.

  8. I read an article a while back that basically stated that there is more unleaded fuel pumped in one day than there is leaded fuel pumped in a whole year. That being said, what part of LOW LEAD doesn’t anybody understand? What are the costs going to be to our vintage aircraft owners and operators? Or any of the other operators? I have seen first hand the damaged done to vintage automobile cylinder heads and valves that ran unleaded fuels that were designed to run on leaded fuels. I can only imagine the damages and costs to our airplanes. It’s one thing to pull over in an automobile that’s running bad from a burnt valve. Quite another when an aircraft spits one out…….

    • 1. Based on my personal experience with 100LL in a UL capable ’79 Subaru (burned valves after a couple tanks), I doubt you’d swallow the titanium valves, as long as whatever is used in auto fuel to lube the stellite valves is used.

      2. I’ve been told by a refinery fuel person that The amount of lead in 100LL is WAY HIGHER than was ever used in any mogas. 3-4 x if I recall.

      3. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, cut through all the legal defecation (bs) and explain why aviating engines cannot use mogas +whatever octane boosting juice is available for offroad engines? It sounds to me like most of the issue stands from some ancient FAA rule somewhere. Reword the legal mumbo jumbo and most of the problem would go away, allowing the fuel engineers and scientists to fix the actual problem. Probably narrow it down to valve lube and octane. It took the auto industry about 2 years to come up with engines that didn’t need lead-lubed valves…

  9. AVweb writers, please note that, per historical convention, “aircrafts” is not grammatically correct.

    Much like the word ‘sheep,’ the term “aircraft” builds its plural without an –s. The etymology of the term ‘aircraft’ is not derived from an any old word, but it does have a documented (modern) convention.

    It is because the term “craft” is a collective term, and the Old English Dictionary (OED) mentions that the term might be originated as an elliptical expression (a group of words with certain understood words omitted); in this case, also includes sea-going “nautical” vessels.

    The term ‘craft,’ itself, is used as ‘aircraft’ as well. The OED includes the following explanation for the fifth definition of “craft”:

    V. Applied to boats, ships, and fishing requisites.

    These uses were probably colloquial with watermen, fishers, and seamen some time before they appeared in print, so that the history is not evidenced; but the expression is, again, probably elliptical. The use, in English, of any general collective term for all sorts of ‘vessels for water carriage’ naturally made ‘craft’ a useful stop-gap term.

    For reference [OED]: ‘Craft’

    Sense 9.
    A. collect. (const. as pl.) Vessels or boats.
    a. originally only in small craft n.
    b. Hence, without small, in same sense; later, in the general sense of vessels of all kinds for water carriage and transport.
    B. (with a and pl.) A small vessel or boat; any sailing or floating vessel.
    C. An aircraft or spacecraft.

    Sense 10.
    A. collect. Implements used in catching or killing fish; in mod. use chiefly in whale-fishery.

    The term ‘Craft’ is a nautical (sea going) word signifying all manner of lines, nets, hooks, &c. which serve for fishing; and because those that use the fishing trade use small vessels, they call all such little vessels ‘small craft’. The harpoons, hand-lances, and boat-spades, are usually called ‘craft’, and the other implements ‘gear’. However, OED mentions that the plural form ‘aircrafts’ is rare, and there is one citation (1903 Aeronautical Journal 7 81/1) where the term ‘aircrafts’ is used:

    HIS WORLD-FAMED AIRCRAFTS
    1903 Aeronautical Journal 7 81/1

    The OED also adds that the word (‘craft’) can be understood, especially when used in the plural, to include other kinds of heavier-than-air machine, such as helicopters. The word was/is often preferred to the term ‘aeroplane’ or ‘airplane’ in official and military contexts. However, in modern English, the term ‘aircraft’ is the preferred plural. During WWII, this was put into standard English vernacular by W. S. Churchill. Reference this excerpt from the first related military correspondence directive from WWII:

    “Will you please make the following terminology effective in all British official correspondence: For ‘aeroplane’ the word ‘aircraft’ should be used.”

    Reference: 1943 W. S. Churchill Telegram 15 June in Second World War (1952) V. 566

    • The EPA’s job is to point out problems. The solution is to mitigate what is causing the problem. If AOPA, the FAA, and all of the other aviation groups had formed a consortium to solve thie problem back when autos started using unleaded fuel we wouldn’t be in this situation.

      Why not heap some of your ire on them too.

      • “ The EPA’s job is to point out problems.”

        And that’s the problem. There must be a problem, has to be, if not the EPA has no “job”. If there is no problem, it has to “find” one to justify its existence.

        To continue our safety office analogy: Clipboard Safety guy comes around and sez: “hey, you guys are using ABC type helmets. You need to be using XYZ type helmets.”

        So, our office goes out and purchased all new XYZ helmets.

        3 Monhs later: Same Clipboard safety guy comes around and sez: “Hey, you guys are using XYZ helmets. You need to be using DQR helmets.

        So, our office goes out and purchased all new DQR helmets.

        3 months later…well, you get the picture. The hazards of the job never changed and we were doing the job with no injuries. So, the clipboard safety department needs to find a “problem” they can “fix”.

  10. While the elimination of 100LL is the current target of environmental groups, there has already been a significant reduction in lead emissions. In the 1940s and 50s, we had hundreds of Douglas DC-2,-4, -6, -7 aircraft and the Lockheed Constellations, Boeing Stratocruisers and numerous other military and civilian piston aircraft in service. Many of the Air Transport and Military Transport aircraft had four engines with a much higher displacement. They consumed vast quantities of leaded avgas. At that time, the avgas had 0.12% TEL. Today 100 LL has a maximum of 0.056% TEL. In 1945 the US produced 28.4 million tons of leaded aviation gasoline. Today it is approximately 0.56 million tons.
    Even with the reduction in lead emissions, the elimination of 100LL is expected. This is not just due to the environmentalists but due to the economics of serving a dwindling market Several years ago there were five grades of avgas, but today only one in volume production. Other than some custom racing blends, 100LL is the only gasoline product that still contains TEL. Compounding the economic situation, leaded and unleaded fuel cannot normally be stored or transported in the same tanks due to contamination from the leaded fuel into the unleaded fuel. The availability of TEL is another issue. Outside of China there is only one manufacturer of TEL, and that is in Europe. It is inefficient for the refiners to produce leaded fuel for such a small market that continues to decrease. The refineries output of kerosene-based Jet/turbine fuel has far outpaced complex hydrocarbon-based avgas since the 1960s. Having said that, do I personally believe the EPA action is correct? NO. They never seem to know when to stop and use debatable “research” to support their drive to reach zero lead. Government agencies often have trouble finding a proper balance. However, the low yearly output will probably be the demise of 100LL, not necessarily the EPA.

  11. I would hope as part of this initiative either the FAA or EPA would issue “free” STCs for aircraft eligible for unleaded STCs. After all it is just a piece of paper. They could reimburse the fuel producers for the lost income from this program.

  12. “Really. The report is over 100 pages and you can tell just by looking at one chart that the information is bogus?”

    it’s obvious from that one chart that lead in gasoline is no longer the source. Since the report never tested airborne lead levels, then the entire report is scientifically useless to show a causal relationship.

  13. FYI, leaded auto gas was phased out in the 70s, not the 80s.

    By the mid-70s most new cars had catalytic converters to meet the new emissions regulations, although a few made it a few more years without one. My 76 Toyota Corolla did not take unleaded, but my GF’s 75 Pinto did. But strangely, her Pinto did not actually have a cat installed. At that point the demand was significantly higher than the availability, so some seemed to be shipped without one.

    One other user of leaded fuels is motor sports. You can get leaded race gas out of a pump at many race tracks.

    Interestingly, Sunoco now has a 104 AKI (110 RON, 98 MON) unleaded race gas. According to one site, auto MON is roughly comparable to aviation octane rating up to 100, so this fuel would be about 98 airplane octane.

  14. Interesting comment from a bunch of the EPA’s recently updated pages and documents

    “EPA’s modeling and monitoring data indicate that lead concentrations at and near airports are typically well below the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for lead (lead NAAQS).2”

    “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is actively working to identify unleaded
    fuels for use in piston-engine aircraft. The reduction or removal of lead from this fuel is
    under FAA’s authority.”

    https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P100YG46.pdf

  15. Lead is bad for people and engines.
    The footdragging on this issue has been ridiculous.
    No country now uses leaded fuel for vehicles; the last country phased it out recently.
    Octel in England is the only producer of TEL in the world.
    TEL is transported in a very old ship; it could go out of service at any time.
    Local authorities could close the plant.
    Time to get on with it folks; the end of Leaded Fuel is here now.
    Denial of reality will not make the issue go away.

    • Thank you. It does not matter how good 100LL works or how it lowers maintenance. None of that will matter. They already regulated lead from auto gas in the 70s based on human health. This is not a winnable fight. EPA and FAA need to quit dragging thier feet and get an unleaded alternative.

  16. 80/87 in Canada never had any lead in it; there was an allowable amount but it was never used, because the raw stock had more than enough octane.
    When 100LL became the only available fuel; 80/87 engines started to have valve and cylinder problems.
    Engines originally certified for 91/96 fuel are perfectly happy on 91 octane Mogas; several producers such as Shell state that there is no Ethanol in their premium fuel.
    That leaves the engines that require 100 Octane fuel, and there are two companies producing unleaded 100.
    The future of general aviation is diesel, because those engines burn jet fuel, and SAF; Sustainable Aviation Fuel is coming along (much faster than the non progress on unleaded Avgas; the turbine people are serious)
    As piston engine vehicles are phased out, gasoline of any kind will become scarce, then unavailable; look into the future folks and and find a solution.
    Pure Ethanol will work in our engines with some fuel system changes; perhaps that is one solution.

  17. Previously AvWeb published information including that one or several European countries banned leaded avgas years ago and successfully substituted commercially available high octane unleaded fuel, and has never looked back. So why have US suppliers simply copied their formula?

  18. Good on the EPA, it’s long past time someone force the FAA to upgrade. The fact is even if you have a plane that takes unleaded fuel no airport currently sells it.
    Upgrading any technology no matter how useful in general aviation takes forever and costs a fortune.

    • Wont work. Not enough horsepower to win this fight over leaded fuel. The auto industry lost it 40 years ago. How the heck do you expect to win politically? Politicians are going to listen to 51% of the women population who mother children…not 0.01% of old men who fly airplanes. Get on board with unleaded gas and get the FAA to approve unleaded fuel.

  19. This is not a joke. They are going to develop this endangerment thing, throw it at the wall, and it is going to stick. Nothing will trump the health endangerment of lead and kids. The environmental laws on the books now were passed with a great deal more resistance than will be seen here. Fighting for the survival of 100LL is not a winnable fight. The leaded gas battle was lost in the 70s even when it had a great deal more political horsepower than it will now. Back then, it had the auto and oil industry in the fight. They still lost. Today, there is nothing but a 0.01% of the population and their airplanes which the general public already feels is an unreasonable endangerment despite the fuel. They will ground airplanes if they don’t come up with an unleaded alternative. I have been expecting the shoe to drop on this one.