Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that Americans will soon have more choices at the gas pump, something long sought by the National Corn Growers Association.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is issuing a rule to clarify that renewable energy systems in the federal Rural Energy for America Program include flexible fuel pumps, sometimes referred to as “blender pumps.”
“Fuel station owners will now have incentives to install blender pumps,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “All America needs is the infrastructure and the flex-fuel vehicles to take advantage of what the domestic ethanol industry is capable of producing.”
The Obama administration has set a goal of installing 10,000 flexible fuel pumps nationwide within five years, Vilsack noted. "Flex-fuel pumps will give Americans a choice to purchase domestically produced renewable transportation fuels," he said. "USDA's energy programs are helping to build a clean energy economy, while creating green jobs here at home and making our nation more energy secure in the long-term."
Currently, most gasoline sold in the United States is a mix of 10 percent ethanol. About 3.5 percent of the 250 million vehicles on U.S. roads are flex-fuel vehicles that can be fueled with E-85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, with a higher percentage on the way, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found 15 percent ethanol blends safe for vehicles from model years 2001 or newer.
It’s time to make that fuel available for these cars, and higher levels more available for consumers who choose them for their flex-fuel vehicles, Schott said.