Even as the tide turns against corn ethanol, GM and ten U.S. state governments announced a new partnership last week to get more E85 to more flexfuel vehicles. The states involved here are: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Each state will "work with GM to advance location selection, development and usage of their state's E-85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) infrastructure."
This means that GM will coordinate ethanol promotion and help plan where the E85 stations should go. The states will concurrently set up task forces to find target areas for the new ethanol-ready pumps, as well as how to get these pumps funded and built (or converted). Since there is no cellulosic ethanol on the market today, whether or not this program pushes more corn ethanol into the system depends on the timeline achieved in each state.

[Source: National Governors Association]

PRESS RELEASE:

States to Enhance Access to E-85 Fueling Stations


NGA Brokers Partnership Between GM and 10 States to Spur Development of Ethanol Pumps

WASHINGTON- To help improve the nation's energy security and diversify its transportation fuel supply, the National Governors Association (NGA) today announced partnerships between and General Motors Corporation (GM) and 10 states to enhance access to E-85 ethanol for flex-fuel vehicles.

Under these new public-private partnerships, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin will each work with GM to advance location selection, development and usage of their state's E-85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) infrastructure.

"Improving the use of clean, domestically grown biofuels like ethanol will help move us toward a cleaner, more secure energy future," said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center for Best Practices.

"The infrastructure for E-85 needs to expand now if the nation is to be ready for the significant growth in ethanol coming from new cellulosic and biomass sources," said Beth Lowery, GM vice president of environment, energy and safety policy. "We need a range of alternatives to offset growing oil demand in this country and globally."

Under the terms of the partnerships, GM will help states assess optimal locations for E-85 pump locations. GM, will work with top ethanol producers and fuel infrastructure experts to optimize E-85 supply to states and will leverage its network of dealers, plants and offices and its extended ethanol-related network to promote E-85 usage.

States will establish an E-85 task force that includes a team of state officials, retailers and automobile manufacturers to help identify target areas for E-85 refueling stations. The team will identify potential funding sources to support pump installation or conversion and assist with implementing the resulting recommendations.

Over the next 20 years, increasing ethanol usage offers an opportunity to displace a significant share of oil usage in this country and the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. In 2007, the United States used 6.8 billion gallons of ethanol, almost all of which was made from domestically produced corn. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 boosted the national Renewable Fuel Standard to 36 billion gallons annually by 2022, capping corn ethanol at 15 billion gallons while calling for 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol and 5 billion gallons of advanced biofuels.

At the same time, production of flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) in the U.S. is growing, with more than 7 million on the road today and more than 1 million produced in 2007 alone. GM and other domestic automobile manufacturers have committed to making 50 percent of their production flex-fuel capable by 2012.

For more information about state efforts to secure a clean energy future, please visit www.nga.org/center/ci0708.

###

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation's governors and one of Washington , D.C. 's, most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit www.nga.org.


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