Production of ethanol in the United States is continuing to accelerate with production in the first quarter of 2008 up 37 percent over 2007 levels. The U.S. now has almost 150 ethanol plants, nearly double the number from five years ago, and they produced 1.9 billion gallons of alcohol in the first three months of this year for an annual pace of 7.6 billion gallons. Ethanol producers still have a long way to go to reach the 36 billion threshold required by the December 2007 Energy bill. They do of course have until 2022 to achieve that level by which time hopefully most of it should be coming from cellulosic sources instead of corn. In the meantime for those driving flex-fuel vehicles it's still tough to find E85 in most of the country. There are an estimated 1,200 E85 filling stations in the U.S. right now with the heaviest concentrations in the Midwest region. For now, most of the ethanol being produced is blended into gasoline at low concentrations to produce E10 which can be used in all cars and trucks (at least the ones that don't run on diesel)
[Source: Reuters]

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