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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.

Starting today and continuing until September 3, the Clean Air Choice Team will be at the 2007 Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul to unveil something they're calling the "Clean Air Choice Fueling Station," handing out fuel coupons on a stick and in general promoting ethanol and biodiesel. The Path to Cleaner Air exhibit is part of the fair's Experience Exhibit and "tells the story of how Minnesota drivers became the largest users of cleaner-burning biofuels in North America, and how using these fu

digg_url = 'http://digg.com/offbeat_news/Very_very_cheap_ethanol_in_Minnesota_today_through_Friday'; The Brazil of North America, Minnesota will try to increase use of ethanol in the state this week. The attraction: ultra-cheap E85, in some cases just 85 cents a gallon. Other locations are offering 40 cents off of ethanol, or 85 cents off ethanol and biodiesel. The first such deal kicks off right about now at a NuMart-Cenex in Fairmont. All the deals this week are at Cenex locations, and the

"Give me an 'E', give me an '85', give it to me everywhere!"

No state pushes ethanol harder than Minnesota with its incentives and regulations. Now the alternative fuel's limits are being recognized by the state's academic community. Dr. Robert Elde is dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University Minnesota. He wrote an opinion piece for Sunday's St. Paul Pioneer Press and agrees with findings that show America can't grow enough corn and soybeans to meet both food and fuel requirements for the nation. He calls for an intense program to find

I love stories about new biomass possibilities for ethanol production. If an ethanol story has got a watermelon or poplar tree in the lede, then I'm ready to learn more. When I heard this story on carbon negative ethanol production using switchgrass on NPR yesterday, I made sure to pay attention.