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The Plymouth Pilot - Donnelly Meets to Discuss E85

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Location: Plymouth, IN

The Plymouth Pilot - Donnelly Meets to Discuss E85

By Carol Anders

PLYMOUTH — A press conference held at the Family Express in Plymouth by Congressman Joe Donnelly Wednesday seemed more like a celebration to local farmers and Farm Bureau board members who attended. Donnelly continues to promote the production and distribution of alternative fuels such as an ethanol product, E85.

E85 is an alcohol fuel mixture that typically contains a mixture of up to 85 pecent denatured fuel ethanol and gasoline. Corn is the primary source material for ethanol fuel production.

Donnelly said he will continue to promote the use of wind, solar, ethanol and bio-diesels fuels. He said, "Our national security is strengthened by producing our own fuels."

Also promoting the sale of E85 as Family Express CEO Gus Olympidis. Of the 48 Family Express stations in Indiana, 19 now offer E85 fuel pumps. This makes Family Express the largest retailer of E85 in the state of Indiana. Olympidis said, "I would not consider opening a new store without offering E85," Olympidis said. "The American dream comes with some responsibility."

Prior to the press conference, Olympidis said, "It will take private companies to have the care and affection for communities." Olympidis, from Valparaiso, drove his car painted with E85 emblems to Plymouth Wednesday.

Donnelly shared his enthusiasm for the use of alternative fuels saying, "If we make one gallon of alternative fuel, it's one less that we have to get from the Middle East."

He said, "Forty percent of the suicide bombers are from Saudi Arabia. We send bushels of money to them. Now we can use bushels of our own corn."

Legislation included in H.R., 3221, "The New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security and Consumer Protection Act" passed the House by a vote of 241-172. Included in that legislation was a key provision (H.R. 2025) , The Promoting Use of Mixed Petroleum (PUMP Act) , introduced by Donnelly in late May of this year. Donnelly's part of the bill would amend the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act to explicitly prohibit an oil company from restricting the right of a franchisee to install qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling equipment.

According to Donnelly, the PUMP Act would expand the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure tax credit allowing gas station owners to claim 50 percent of the cost of alternative refueling property up to $50,000."

Farm Bureau President Charlie Houin helped to organize the show of farmers' support for the use of ethanol. Houin informed the audience that the plant being constructed in Claypool, Indiana will be the largest producer of bio-diesel fuel in the state.

Carl Lisek of South Shore Clean Cities, Inc. said, "There are 93 ethanol stations in Indiana now. Our goal is to have 100 by the end of September."

Clean Cities is a government/industry partnership designed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector by advancing the use of alternative fuels and vehicles. Lisek drove a General Motors police vehicle that can use ethanol to the press conference. He said his organization is promoting the use of vehicles in the government that can use ethanol.

Olympidis said, "I will say it stronger. It is an outrage for a government entity not to be using ethanol."

Clean Cities is a government/industry partnership designed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector by advancing the use of alternative fuels and vehicles, idle reduction technologies, hybrid electric vehicles, fuel blends and fuel economy. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Clean Cities contributes to the environmental, economic and energy security of our nation by reducing our dependence on imported petroleum.

Designated as the 71st Clean Cities Coalition on June 15, 1999, South Shore Clean Cities, Inc. (SSCC) was founded on the principle that motivated individuals working together for common goals best accomplish our nation's objectives. In almost 90 coalitions, government agencies and private companies voluntarily form partnerships that meet the objectives of improving air quality, developing regional economic opportunities and reducing the use of imported oil.

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