October 23, 2008

One state's push to cut petroleum use

Following the state's long history of supporting ethanol and renewable fuels, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty called on state employees to reduce petroleum fuel consumption and use cleaner-burning alternative fuels like E85 in state vehicles whenever possible.

A new report from the Minnesota SmartFleet Committee said that in the first three quarters of this year, E85 use in the state fleet is 79 percent greater than during the same period last year. In looking the numbers, that translates to 529,000 gallons of E85 used to fuel the state’s roughly 1,700 flexible fuel vehicles, compared to 295,000 gallons last year. That's a big increase in using a home-grown renewable fuel in place of oil.

The report report was hailed by the American Lung Association of Minnesota, which supports the use of E85.

"A flexible fuel vehicle running on E85 instead of gasoline produces significantly less tailpipe emissions than the same vehicle using gasoline," said Kelly Marczak, director of the American Lung Association of Minnesota’s clean fuels program. "To-date, the state fleet’s use of E85 in 2008 has prevented more than 2,100 tons of lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful pollutants from entering our air simply by using E85 instead of gasoline."

That's just one state - one state's government fleet. Imagine if that was repeated over and over across the country. It would cut petroleum use - and help clear the air.

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