Washington, D.C. – The U.S. government will provide funding for gas stations to install new pumps for ethanol fuel blends.
The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is issuing a rule to clarify that the definition of renewable energy systems in the Rural Energy for American Program includes flexible fuel pumps, also known as “blender” pumps. The clarification is intended to provide fuel station owners with incentives to install flexible fuel pumps. The Obama administration has set a goal of installing 10,000 blender pumps nationwide within five years.
“Flex-fuel pumps will give Americans a choice to purchase domestically-produced renewable transportation fuels,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “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.”
Most gasoline sold in the U.S. today is a mix of 10 per cent ethanol. There are currently eight to 8.5 million flexible-fuel vehicles on U.S. roads, able to run on a blend of 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent gasoline known as E85, and constituting about 3.2 to 3.5 per cent the approximately 250 million vehicles on the road. Approximately 2,350 of the more than 167,800 fuelling stations across the country offer E85.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the results of E15 testing on vehicles 2001 and newer, and confirmed that there are additional vehicles on the road able to take advantage of higher ethanol blends than currently available at regular, non-E85 pumps.