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Our recent coverage of ethanol-related news has been a bit dour, so now we'll shift away from wreaking havoc on the ethanol industry and bounce some praise around instead. Why? It turns out the use of E85 is still growing across parts of the Midwest. In fact, the state of Minnesota now boasts that its own fleet of vehicles have consumed 437,063 gallons of E85 during the first six months of 2010, representing a 25-percent jump from the numbers posted for the first half of 2009.

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The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition announced yesterday that there are now 1,000 gas stations selling E85 in America. Unsurprisingly, if you follow the ethanol scene, the station is in Minnesota, which has almost 300 E85 stations, far more than any other state. The announcement explained where the station is (at 320 3rd Street NW in Bemidji) but tried to make the point that E85 is growing in popularity around the state. Tim Gerlach of the Minnesota E85 Team said, "Frankly, we have had so many

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About one-third of the nation's 925 E85 refueling pumps can be found in Minnesota, so it's no surprise that the Gopher State leads the country in ethanol sales. The state's Dept. of Commerce says the state's 288 stations set a record in July by pumping 2.1 million gallons of E85 fuel to consumers.

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Minnesota, like many other states, is experiencing rapid increases in the number of gas stations selling E85. Sixty E85 fueling spots have opened this year, with another twenty coming in the next few weeks. By mid-August, there will be 270 places to get E85 in the state. This means that Minnesota "leads in per-capita use of the biofuels, ethanol and biodiesel, and is expanding its E85 fueling network at a tremendous pace. If trends continue, Minnesota motorists will purchase 15 million gallons o

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