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Do you know what’s in your gasoline and why it’s killing you?

Before you take the What’s in Your Gasoline Quiz below, here’s some background information to help you.

For 40+ years, we have advocated for better federal and state public policies to make gasoline cleaner and more renewable and immediately address US energy, environmental, economic, public health, and national insecurities.

We have yet to find another issue with the opportunity to positively impact every individual on the planet daily.

The biofuel naysayers say, “People do not care about gasoline.” We say that’s because people do not know what’s in gasoline or where it comes from.

  • Gasoline is produced exclusively from crude oil. Refineries use it to produce gasoline and other petrochemicals. Since 1946, the US government has made it a policy to protect oil supplies in the Middle East. A National Security Council document declassified in the 1990s (available in the National Archives) states, “In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant outside power in the region and preserve US and Western access to the region’s oil.”
  • OPECs often publicly stated mission is to manipulate the supply of crude oil (and therefore the price) in the best interest of their member countries, which now includes Russia. Despite two oil embargoes and several wars centered in the Middle East, the US still imports about 20% of its from OPEC countries. In 2021 US consumers contributed nearly $65 billion to OPEC countries, of which about $16 billion went to Russia.
  • About half of US air pollution comes from the transportation sector. The other half comes from generating electricity. Therefore, there is no such thing as a zero-emission Electric Vehicle.

What’s in Your Gasoline Quiz

1. How much do you actually pay for gasoline when you include taxes you pay for the military to protect oil supplies, federal subsidies to preserve fossil fuel markets, higher health care premiums because of air pollution, and other social costs?

  1. $9 per gallon
  2. $15 per gallon
  3. $38 per gallon
  4. No additional cost

2. On average, how many different chemicals are in your gasoline?

  1. Only one and it’s called gasoline.
  2. More than 10
  3. More than 50
  4. More than 100
  5. More than 300

3. On average, what percentage of your gasoline is the known carcinogen benzene and/or benzene-based chemicals?

  1. .06
  2. 2%
  3. 5%
  4. 10%
  5. 20%

4. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and US National Toxicology Program (NTP), which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies benzene as “known to be a human carcinogen.” Benzene has always been in gasoline. “Contains Benzene” is required on labels of numerous consumer products – but not on gasoline pumps. According to the American Petroleum Institute, what is the safe threshold exposure to benzene?

  1. 2%
  2. 20%
  3. Zero
  4. 10%

5. In 1972 the US consumed 16.4 million barrels per day of oil, with 32% of that imported.   After the OPEC oil embargos in the 1970s, the Gulf Wars in the 1990s and 2000s, increasing the miles-per-gallon of gasoline standard for cars, and the known national security and public health dangers of dependence on oil – compared to 1972 in 2022, did the US increase or decrease the use of crude oil?

  1. Decreased 30%
  2. Decreased 40%
  3. Decreased 10%
  4. Increased 24%

6. The US relies on gasoline for about 90% of its transportation fuel needs. Which alternative fuel has replaced the most gasoline?

  1. Natural Gas
  2. Ethanol
  3. Electricity
  4. Propane

7. Exxon and other Major Oil Companies reported profits as high as $56 Billion in 2022. What do they do with those profits?

  1. Return a certain percentage to the communities they serve.
  2. Pay additional fees to maintain roads and bridges.
  3. Provide rebates to their customers,
  4. None of the above 

8. The US has 5% of the world’s population. How much of the world’s oil does the US consume?

  1. 25%
  2. 10%
  3. 50%
  4. 60%

9. The federal excise tax on gasoline pays for maintaining our roads and bridges. Congress has not increased the federal gasoline tax in 30 years. How much per gallon do you pay in federal excise taxes for gasoline?

  1. 9 cents
  2. 45.5 cents
  3. 11 cents
  4. 18.5 cents

10. How much do consumers in European countries pay in excise taxes per gallon of gasoline? (US dollar equivalent)

  1. 9 cents
  2. 55 cents
  3. $1.45
  4. $2.47

11. Mobile source emissions (from transportation) are a primary source of pollution. Government and private researchers have linked these emissions to which of these public health threats?

  1. Cancer
  2. Respiratory Disease, asthma, COP
  3. Low Birth Weight and Autism
  4. Heart Disease, stroke, and
  5. All of the Above

12. According to the EPA, 45 million people live within 300 feet of a major highway. Exposure to harmful emissions is ten times greater if you live within:

  1. 200 feet
  2. 300 feet
  3. 1 mile
  4. ½ mile

14. In 2022 there were 278 million cars registered in the US. Every gasoline-powered car sold this year and every year after will be in use for 12-17 years. In 2021 EV sales represented 3% of total vehicle sales. EVs sales are growing by about 3-5% per year. When do you think the US will achieve the policy goal of 100% EVs?

  1. 2030
  2. 2050
  3. After 2050
  4. Before 2050, if Congress keeps $2.5 trillion in federal subsidies in place and most voters prefer to buy or can afford EVs.

15. Ethanol has about 50% less carbon than gasoline. Would you buy more higher-octane, lower-carbon, less-toxic, renewable liquid fuels produced in the US — if the fuel was less expensive and could be used in your current vehicle?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Maybe
  4. Ethanol already costs less but you can’t buy more. That’s why we wrote Gasolinegate.  

16. The US will likely depend on gasoline as the primary transportation fuel for the next 25 years. What is one good reason EPA and Congress should allow benzene levels to remain the same in gasoline?

Please send your answer to


Extra Credit

Why do you think everyone knows the word gasoline but does not know what’s in it or understand the negative personal health impacts?

Why do you think we know what’s in our food, beer, medicine, and shampoo – yet not know what’s in our gasoline?

Please send your answer to if you would like to provide use with your perspective.

Gasolinegate contains additional information and citations used in the quiz.