Minnesota ranks No. 1 in weaning drivers off gasoline

e85logo.jpg
E85: It's the corn.
Minnesota is officially the best state when it comes to replacing gasoline with alternatives that don't line the pockets of Middle East oil sharks, according to the Department of Energy.

For that, we can thank the corn, and the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition.

We have more E85 gas pumps (360) than any other state. We were the first state to require a 5 percent biodiesel blend in most diesel fuels. Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Brooklyn Park were among the first cities in the country to adopt alternative fuel vehicles. And the state fleet boasts 2,500 flex fuel vehicles, the coalition said.

The organization is part of a state-by-state initiative that launched in 1993 using federal seed money to wean consumers off fossil fuels. It's administered here by the American Lung Association, which offered gas station franchise owners a subsidy for installing E85 pumps. The pumps are now installed in almost every county in the state, Lung Association spokesman Robert Moffitt told us today.

The coalition also stood behind the science that prompted a state law that mandates a biodiesel component in diesel fuels. The ratio is 5 percent today, but it moves to 10 percent in the summer months starting next year, and 20 percent in the summer of 2015. Once the 20 percent mark takes effect, it's expected to prevent 1.3 billion pounds of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere every year.

The way DOE figures it, the work done by the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition displaced 135,175,133 cumulative gallons of gasoline from 2005-2009.

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Fore cheapenergy
Fore cheapenergy

Franken & Klobuchar: What the heck are you doing about $5 gas, Jobs, the budget deficit. Where do you stand on 9% unemployment, on GE making 5 billion and not paying tax. Do you agree with Obama on letting these big corporations not pay taxes? Drill Baby Drill. Natgas the pickens way!

Shasta
Shasta

Replacing gasoline with E85 is idiotic. The ethanol is produced with fossil fuels, and the end result is 1:1 energy return AT BEST. Realistically it's worse, not to mention all the extra emissions from the process.

MrE85
MrE85

You are misinformed about the energy return on ethanol. Also, learn more about Alberta Tar Sand production, including its water and natural gas requirements. You may be surprised.

Time Ghost
Time Ghost

Thanks for censoring my last response. Aren't you guys at CP supposed to be the opposite of the secret police?

Time Ghost
Time Ghost

We get most of our oil from Canada. Ethanol pollutes more due to the intensive agriculture used to cultivate corn and creates more deficit due to farm subsidies. It appears that the earth actually IS smart (sorry religious folks) and crude actually IS renewable, it's just a long process. In summation, don't believe the hype.

MrE85
MrE85

A verrrrrrrry long process, unless my science teachers got it wrong. Consuming petroleum at this rate, I don't think we can wait until Mother Nature refills the tank. Meanwhile, we have that air pollution issue to deal with. Believe it.

Time Ghost
Time Ghost

The world oil supply is grossly under-exaggerated. Nowhere do you talk about the tractor emissions that stem from E-85 production (which are greater than auto tailpipe emissions), but also the chemicals used to produce the corn, plus farm subsidies. If you really had the interest of the people involved, you'd admit E-85 is a fraud in multiple senses.

Time Ghost
Time Ghost

Laura: The gulf oil spill is a very real thing, how it happened was not. Everything about it was planned, from the leak to the repair. Hopefully you atleast smelled something somewhat fishy through that whole "crisis". My friend works in the oil drilling business. A Frenchman who had fixed two other similiar leaks before sent his proposed fix to the government and was denied because he wasn't American or a union contractor. WTF??!! If you are truly interested in alternate energy research, look up Nikola Tesla's free energy idea, then ask yourself why you've never heard of it.

MrE85: Where does biodiesel come from?... ag products! Talk about infinite regress. Most ethanol comes from outside the U.S. anyway. I've seen multiple studies contradicting your findings including this one: http://membrane.com/trees/foot... Also I'm not a gasoline advocate, but it is better than ethanol. As long as you keep spreading untruths, I'll fight you and the forces of darkness.

MrE85
MrE85

Actually, that 4 tons of pollutants saved figure I cited earlier are lifecycle pollution, from spout to tailpipe, so yes, we figured those in. You may be interested to learn that tractors in MN are running on a B5 biodiesel blend, next year it will be B10. Also, that oil from Canada you mentioned is strip mined and steamed from the Alberta Tar Sands -- a much more energy and water entensive process than making ethanol. And when they are finished mining, the place looks like Mordor. I'm with the ALAMN, so of course we are going to focus on the air pollution benefits. That's what we do.

laura
laura

Everyone needs to remember that biofuels are NOT just corn. MN is leading the way in discovering ways to use things like algae and other substances. All better options than oil. After spending the last 5 years vacationing on the gulf shores of AL, I was saddened this year when my son's white swimsuit turned orange from tar balls this Feb - a year after the spill . . .

Deboruecker
Deboruecker

My question is this. Since ethanol has only2/3rdThe power content of gasoline (basicly 2/3rd the milage) you'll be filling up more often. Its not much cheaper than gasoline. It wont make things any cheaper for anyone since corn prices will go up as well. Aside from less oversea oil use where's the benefit? Ethanol producers finally make money so they don't need our subsidies anymore? For diesel applications, fine. For cars and other vehicles forget it. Increased levels proposed will cause expesive damage to older(5 years) fuel systems. No thanks ill stick with gasoline.

MrE85
MrE85

Actually, it is cheaper. Yes, you will get fewer MPG on E85 than on gasoline. How well you do on E85 depends on driver habits, type of vehicle, etc. But at these prices, you still come out ahead. We can make more ethanol, from a variety of materiasls. Once consumed, petroleum fuels are gone forever. Also, E85 burns cleaner with far less tailpipe emissions. How much less? About 4 tons per vehicle, per year. As to your last point, E85 should ONLY be used in vehicles designed for the fuel (called flex fuel or FFVs). We don't recomend putting E85 in any other vehicle.

Full disclosure: MrE85 is Robert Moffitt, the guy quoted in the story.

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