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.
Several of the state's fleets report choosing to fill up with E85 more than 70 percent of the time. Of course, good 'ol gasoline is chosen the rest of the time. We're not about to knock on E85 this time around, and so leave you with numbers from Kelly Marczak, director for the American Lung Association in Minnesota's clean fuel and vehicle technologies program, who said:
This continued progress shows that the State of Minnesota is serious about its stated goal to reduce its petroleum consumption. In just six months, the state's use of E85 in 2010 prevented more than 1,745 tons of lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions and harmful pollutants from entering our air.
Follow the jump for more info on Minnesota's increasing use of E85.

[Source: American Lung Association | Image: diaper – C.C. License 2.0]

PRESS RELEASE

Minnesota Uses More E85 In State-Owned Vehicles


Saint Paul, Minn.–(July 29, 2010)-Minnesota's state agencies continue to make steady progress in their effort to reduce the amount of petroleum consumed by publically-owned vehicles. During the first two quarters of the year, state agencies used 437,063 gallons of E85, a cleaner burning fuel consisting of up to 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. That represents a nearly 25 percent increase over the amount used during the same period in 2009, according to Tim Morse, chair of the SmartFleet Committee, a group tasked with helping agencies comply with Executive Order 04-10, issued by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The Faribault Academies, a campus of educational facilities serving deaf and blind Minnesotans, topped all others in the SmartFleet quarterly report, using E85 75 percent of the time they bought fuel. Another standout was the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, which reported 73 percent E85 use during the first half of the calendar year. In terms of sheer volume of E85 used, the state Department of Transportation used 170,617 gallons of cleaner-burning E85 in six months, compared to 376,312 gallons of gasoline and 690,798 gallons of B5 biodiesel blend fuel.

"This continued progress shows that the State of Minnesota is serious about its stated goal to reduce its petroleum consumption," said Kelly Marczak, director for the American Lung Association in Minnesota's clean fuel and vehicle technologies program and a member of the SmartFleet Committee. "In just six months, the state's use of E85 in 2010 prevented more than 1,745 tons of lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions and harmful pollutants from entering our air." In addition, the 5% biodiesel blend prevented 290 lbs of particulate matter, 400 lbs of hydrocarbons, 3,000 lbs of carbon monoxide and 700,000 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions.

The American Lung Association in Minnesota supports the use of E85 and biodiesel fuels in both public and private vehicles, as part of an overall strategy to reduce and prevent air pollution. For a complete listing of all 355 E85 stations in Minnesota, as well as a list of all flex fuel vehicles that can use the ethanol-based fuel, see www.CleanAirChoice.org

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