Obama Says Increased Access to E85 in Alton is Positive Step Towards Reducing U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today said that the opening of the first pumps in Madison County to offer E85 will help increase access to renewable fuels, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and support local farmers.
"Our energy future should lie in Illinois fields of corn, not in foreign oil fields," said Obama. "Increasing the production and availability of home-grown alternative fuels is an important step in showing that the United States Senate is serious about reducing our country's dangerous dependence on imported oil."
E85 is a clean-burning blended fuel made from corn that contains 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85, a renewable fuel, can be used in Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs), which can also use conventional gasoline when E85 isn't available.
Obama said that Ford Motor Company's and VeraSun's plan to add 50 more E85 stations along a 1,700 mile round trip route between Chicago and Kansas City will make alternative fuels more readily available to millions more Americans. The additional stations will be located along Interstate 55 in Illinois and Interstate 70 in Missouri.
In Illinois, it's estimated that there are only approximately 120 stations that offer E85 as a gasoline alternative. Only 700 stations offer E85 nationally. It's crucial that access to E85 be increased as there are more than 5 million FFVs currently on the road, and U.S. automakers have committed to producing hundreds of thousands more.
Services stations that install alternative fuel pumps would be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $30,000 to offset the cost of installation. This tax credit was championed by Senator Obama and became law as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.