Submitted by Brad Pfaff, Farm Service Agency Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs
It was a pleasure to join officials in my home state of Wisconsin last month to expand upon the new era of more fuel choices for motorists. Accompanied by Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Patty Edelburg, I cut a ribbon at a Milwaukee Jetz convenience store, debuting the availability of new pumps that dispense higher ethanol fuel blends to serve motorists in this area. With financial assistance from the USDA Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP), service stations in Wisconsin and 20 other states are installing these pumps that provide up to 85 percent ethanol (E-85).
Ethanol is a clean-burning, American produced fuel that reduces carbon emissions and strengthens farming operations and the rural economy, including Wisconsin. Last year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an effort to almost double the number of pumps across the country that can dispense more than the standard 10 percent ethanol. With BIP, more than 1,400 stations are installing new pumps and fuel tanks. Wisconsin alone will see 120 pumps and 100 new tanks installed at 100 locations.
This project is underway in partnership with local and state groups. For example, in Wisconsin, USDA is partnering with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation, Wisconsin Clean Cities, the American Lung Association and the Wisconsin Biofuels Association. BIP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency.
As someone who has lived in Wisconsin most of my life, I value the fact that ethanol is renewable, reduces harmful emissions, and can be cost-competitive with conventional fuels. After the ribbon cutting, I filled up my own (flexfuel) car with E-85 and drove it across the state to my home in La Crosse. The fuel met all my expectations for performance.
The next time you see E-85 for sale, providing you have a car that accepts that blend, give it a try. I know you’ll like it, and you will certainly like the price.
To learn more about the USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/energy.