| Minnesota’s E85 Sales Up 16 Percent
According to the American Lung Association of Minnesota (ALAMN), gasoline sales have decreased 10 percent and E85 sales have increased 16 percent within the past year. The Minnesota Department of Commerce reports that motorists bought 211,982,582 gallons of gasoline in July 2008, compared to 233,081,981 gallons in July, 2007. E85 sales are averaging an astonishing 2-2.5 million gallons a month. The state has approximately 200,000 E85-compatible vehicles and more than 350 E85 stations out of the total 1,735 throughout the country.
“A year ago, I don’t think anyone would have predicted Minnesota could achieve a trifecta of fuel conservation, increased use of mass transit and increased sales of cleaner-burning alternative fuels in the middle of what has historically been the peak driving season,” said Robert Moffitt, communications director for ALAMN. “Since vehicle exhaust is the single largest source of air pollution in Minnesota, the positive impact of these three elements coming together can’t help but improve air quality this summer.”
ALAMN is currently accepting grant applications from fuel retailers who wish to add an E85 or biodiesel pump to their station.
Wisconsin Talk Show Host Promotes E85 at Democratic National Convention
A 20-year veteran of Madison, WI, radio, talk show host Sly—Madison’s Mid-day Maverick—is promoting E85 to and from the Democratic National Convention. Sly is blogging his experience daily.
“People who know nothing about E85 chant that ridiculous slogan ‘No Food for Fuel,’” Sly said. “Seems to me that America has the space, energy and talent to grow food and fuel responsibly and hopefully, in the process, never have to go back to the Persian Gulf for our sustainability.”
Sly drove from Madison to Denver, CO, in his Chevy Suburban fueling up with E85 on the way. “My first fill-up was at Zarco 66. This was the Rosetta Stone of gas stations. Not only did they have E85, but every other possible boutique fuel, even biodiesel. I even used their environmentally-conscience car wash. They probably don’t see many Suburbans venture through there. Again, the fuel was much cheaper than standard petroleum. The NEVC E85 website has been a big help in finding these great stations. Most of them are convenient to the interstates or major highways.”
On the last day of the convention, Sly expressed his exhaustion, yet his support for E85 was still going strong. “It’s the last day of the convention, night after night getting five hours of sleep, and I'd like to say I'm running on fumes, but with E85 there are no fumes.”
Republican National Convention Spotlight on E85
E85 was spotlighted at the Republican National Convention (RNC) the week of September 1 in St. Paul, MN. The Minnesota Clean Air Choice Team took advantage of the opportunity to remind convention attendees from around the country of the important environmental, economic and energy security benefits of E85. Minnesota leads the nation with 354 E85 fueling locations and sold more than 21 million gallons of the cleaner-burning fuel in 2007.
The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest confirmed that when walking through the skyways in Saint Paul during the RNC week and throughout the month of September, visitors are likely to see the ‘Addicted to Oil?’ E85 skyway signs (seen left) in the US Bank Building and Town Square. Others driving to Saint Paul from Minneapolis and the western suburbs will also see a similar billboard beside I-94. In addition, E85/FFV :30 ads played during coverage of the RNC on the local NBC affiliate.
Finally, a special E85 promotion in Eagan, MN, was held on Wednesday, September 3. Holiday Stationstores and the MN Clean Air Choice Team offered E85 for $1 off the current posted price between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at 2660 Eagan Woods Drive. The facility sold nearly 1,000 gallons of E85 in two hours, preventing 4 tons of lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions from entering the air.
For a complete listing of E85 stations throughout the United States, visit www.E85Fuel.com.
Region Making Ethanol, But Not Selling E85
-Source: LimaOhio.com, August 27, 2008
When David Rodney bought his Ford Ranger FFV pickup in 2002, the dealer told him E85 was just around the corner.
Six years later, Rodney has to drive 45 minutes if he wants to fill up with E85. The region has produced Ohio's first two ethanol plants in Lima and Leipsic. The engine in Rodney's truck was built in Lima. While more than 1,700 fuel stations in the country make E85 available, none exist in Lima.
The closest? A Marathon station, which has included an E85 pump since its opening in 2005, and a Meijer station in Findlay, which just added E85 in July. After that, it's Bowling Green, Fort Wayne, Marion and Troy.
Rodney rarely gets to use E85, though he wants to. He tries to time needing a full tank with trips to places where he can get it, like a recent family trip to Toledo, when he stopped at a Perrysburg Kroger fuel station.
For Rodney, 54, a retired state hospital worker and Navy veteran, the issue is about the environment, national security and his own pocketbook.
"That money's being spent here in America instead of being sent overseas to people who often hate us and want to destroy us," Rodney said. "I don't understand why we aren’t equipped with 10,000 pumps of this stuff everywhere and telling the [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] to stuff it, stuff it in their tanks."
If customers want E85, they should be vocal about it at the places they buy gasoline, said Michelle Kautz, deputy director of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition.
A national certification for E85 infrastructure is coming in the next few months, Kautz said, which should lessen companies' liability concerns and speed construction of pumps.
The state offers a retail tax credit to those who sell E85 and provides grant money for infrastructure to build new E85 pumps or retrofit old gasoline pumps and underground storage tanks.
The federal government offers similar business help, Kautz said. The Coalition is lobbying Congress to increase the federal infrastructure tax credit from a maximum of 30 percent or $30,000 of a project to 50 percent or $100,000 of a project.
“The timing was right at the Findlay Meijer,” Store Director Larry Marttila said, “to add an E85 pump when other major repairs were needed. The new pump is going over well with customers who can use it.”
In St. Marys, Marathon Manager Deb Vining said her station has good demand for E85 from farmers and state employees who drive FFVs.
The price of E85 doesn't fluctuate like gasoline does. Vining hasn't changed her $2.89 price on E85 for at least two months.
Rodney paid $3.22 in Perrysburg, still a significant savings over the $3.75 Kroger wanted for unleaded. “While E85 gets slightly less mileage per gallon than unleaded, the savings more than makes up for it,” Rodney said.
"Regular gas just goes higher and higher," Rodney said. "It's a huge difference."
You're Not Fueling Anyone: Ending Fossil-fuel Subsidies Would Help Climate and Economy, U.N. Says
Ending fossil-fuel subsidies around the world could slash greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 6 percent and help the economy at the same time, according to a new United Nations report. Globally, governments spend some $300 billion on fuel subsidies which encourage consumption, delay transition to cleaner energy sources and mainly benefit the already-rich, even though most of the programs are intended to help the poor with fuel costs.
"In the final analysis, many fossil-fuel subsidies are introduced for political reasons but are simply propping up and perpetuating inefficiencies in the global economy," said U.N. Environment Program Director Achim Steiner. "Governments should urgently review their energy subsidies and begin phasing out the harmful ones."
Instead of subsidizing dirty energy, the report recommends employing more direct programs to help the poor as well as enacting tax breaks and other financial incentives to promote cleaner energy sources. Russia is the largest fuel-subsidy spender, throwing down some $40 billion a year mainly to subsidize natural gas; Iran is in second place, spending about $37 billion a year on fuel subsidies.
Final Days of the 110th Congress
As this edition of the NEVC FYI Newsletter is distributed, our federal elected officials have returned for the final few days of the 2nd Session of the 110th Congress. Much work remains to be accomplished in the short time available, including all of the federal fiscal year 2009 appropriations bills. The extension of several existing energy tax incentives, drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and other issues related to advancing domestic energy production will also be debated.
A number of bi-partisan bills have been introduced which focus on increasing domestic production of hydrocarbons and advancing the use of renewables such as solar and wind. In the Senate the “Gang of 10” has increased to the “Gang of 16” Senators, who have introduced a number of energy proposals in an attempt to break the deadlock occurring in that chamber over new energy policy for the nation. In the House, Speaker Pelosi has recently indicated a willingness to allow a floor vote on the OCS issue, which has stymied House energy debate for the past several weeks.
When and if an energy plan takes shape in the next several weeks, the NEVC will be advocating the inclusion of H.R. 6734, the E85 and Biodiesel Access Act. You can review a copy of this legislation at: http://www.e85fuel.com/legislation/hr_6734.doc.
What we know for sure is that on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, Americans will be asked to go to their local polling places and cast a vote for their Presidential candidate of choice. On January 20th, 2009, the 44th President of the United States will take the oath of office and a new direction in the national energy debate will undoubtedly occur. The NEVC will be seeking comment from each of the two primary candidates regarding their position on ethanol, FFVs and other related subjects. We will publish responses to these questions prior to the general election.
New NEVC Director of Administration
Nicole Farrelly is our newest addition to the NEVC. Farrelly holds the position of director of administration. Farrelly will be spending the next several weeks working with Stacy Rzepka who will be leaving the NEVC the end of October as her husband completes his second tour in Iraq and is assigned to Fort Campbell, KY.
Farrelly is originally from St. Louis, MO, and moved to Columbia for college. She attended the University of Missouri and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Magazine Journalism and two minors: Religious Studies and Social Justice.
Farrelly has worked for various publications, including The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Missourian. She completed her degree working with Meredith Publishing to launch a magazine called Glue.
“I still perform freelance journalism on the side, but my passion for social and environmental issues drew me to the NEVC,” said Farrelly. “I found the perfect opportunity to get involved by working with the NEVC.”
To contact Nicole Farrelly, email email@example.com or contact the NEVC office.
Welcome, Nicole, to our team!
NEVC Member Spotlight – Triangle Clean Cities Coalition
Triangle Clean Cities Coalition (TCCC) is one of the newest Clean Cities to join the NEVC.
The TCCC was founded in 1999 to improve air quality and reduce dependence on petroleum by promoting alternative transportation fuels. The Coalition is made up of local and state government agencies, private companies, non-profit organizations and interested individuals who are dedicated to increasing the use of alternative fuel vehicles, hybrids and idle reduction technology.
“We joined the NEVC to help promote E85 to our members and learn the latest information on ethanol,” said Kathy Boyer of the TCCC. “In North Carolina, I believe the biggest obstacle is the lack of infrastructure to produce and distribute ethanol locally. We are just beginning to open production facilities and distribution remains an issue. I think the advent of large-scale cellulosic ethanol production will go a long way in solving some of the local problems.”
New NEVC Members
NEVC welcomes these newest corporate members to the coalition:
Blodgett Oil Company, Inc.
L.A. Used Cars
For information on becoming a member, please contact NEVC Membership Director Haley Wansing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New E85 Stations
Below is a list of fueling facilities which have installed E85 since the issuance of our last NEVC FYI Newsletter.
The following facilities are or will soon be carrying the clean-burning, alternative—E85:
|Z's West Olive - ZZK, Inc.
|Puchi's Quick Stop
|Cenex Pump 24
|Kwik Trip #704
|Quik-Mart Citgo Parole
|Chevron Service Center
|US 23 BP
|Holiday Stationstore #310
|North Branch Holiday
|Holiday Stationstore #403
|Ray Carroll Fuels
|Ray Carroll Fuels
|Victory Lane Fuel & Food
|Pic Quik #72
|Pic Quik #5
|Village Service Center
|Ezell Suty Fuel
|Space Age Fuel
|Jet Truck Stop
|Stop In Food Stores Inc.
|Naval Station Norfolk
|AAFES Post Exchange Defense Supply Ctr.
|Gateway Gas & Deli
There are currently 1,766 E85 stations available across the United States. For a complete listing, go to www.e85refueling.com.
This section highlights emails and letters the NEVC has recently received. Many of the comments or suggestions we receive are of interest to a wider audience and we would like to share them with our readers. Comments included in Letters to the NEVC do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.
Cost Is Too Much
I purchased a flex fuel vehicle with the understanding E85 fuel would be between 15-20 percent cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline. Why is it that a store in Asheville, NC, is selling its E85 for $3.89 per gallon and its regular unleaded gasoline is $4.05 per gallon? Stores in South Carolina are much cheaper, as well as stores in Tennessee, both neighboring states. I spoke to a manager of the store and he indicated he could charge whatever he wanted, since he was the only store in our area which carries E85. How is this not price gouging? Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
NEVC Note: Unfortunately, the NEVC can only suggest to a retailer how the product should be appropriately priced. We encourage all retailers to make note of this email and assist consumers in their attempt to easily use this product and not give them reasons to have negativity toward using E85.
GPS for E85
Last week I recently returned from a summer trip to Connecticut in my flexfuel GMC Sierra. I managed to save money on my way back by using a Garmin GPS with E85 POIs loaded on it. Nothing could have been easier or more efficient.
When I was down to a quarter of a tank and I was approaching a town, I consulted the list of E85 POIs on my GPS. The GPS could tell me when I was coming upon an E85 selling station. If it was a mile or two away, I filled up.
My most dramatic savings was in Effingham, IL. An average price for regular unleaded was around $3.75. The IGA gas station located not-too-far from I-57 sold E85 for $2.79. So, considering that I get about 12 percent less mileage on E85, that means my equivalent cost was $3.12 a gallon. I brought 22 gallons. That means on that fill-up I managed to save $13.86. I was usually saving about $7 or $8 on a fill-up. Only once did I save less than $3 by filling up on E85.
Since I was able to fill up on E85 seven times on the way home and since I was able to plan more efficient routes using the GPS, I figure that I managed to pay for the thing at least twice over since I bought it in July.
If newsletter readers are planning on driving cross country in a vehicle capable of burning E85, I'd recommend they get themselves a GPS that's capable of having POIs loaded onto it and getting the most up-to-date list of stations loaded onto it.
The NEVC always appreciates your comments and input. We invite you to contact Phil Lampert, executive director, any time you wish to provide remarks. Lampert can be reached at email@example.com.
Please feel free to email your story suggestions, comments, corrections, or clarifications to info@E85Fuel.com, or call us toll-free at (877) 485-8595.
Thanks for the emails to the NEVC! Feel free to email us with your comments at any time.
Calendar of Events
Sept. 18-19, 2008
API Renewable Fuels Policy Conference in Houston, TX. The NEVC will be discussing Retailer concerns and market conditions impact the installation of biofuel dispensing equipment including E85 pumps and blender pumps. Conference information can be found at: http://www.api.org/meetings/renewable-fuels-conf.cfm.
September 28-October 3, 2008
National Conference of State Fleet Adminstrators Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA. NEVC will be exhibiting and making an E85 presentation. For more informaiton, click here.
October 6-8, 2008
Eighth Annual BioCycle Conference Focuses On Renewable Energy, Anaerobic Digestion and Biomass at the Madison Marriott West in Madison, WI. For more information, click here.
November 10-11, 2008
Great Plains Energy Expo at the Bismarck Civic Center in Bismarck, ND, sponsored by Byron Dorgan. For more information, visit www.bismarckstate.edu/GPEE.