Illinois Leaders Urge Gasoline Marketers to Make Room for Ethanol

April 07, 2006

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Blagojevich, U.S. Senator Barak Obama, and U.S. Senator Richard Durbin from Illinois wrote letters to six of the largest gasoline distributors in the country the first week in April urging them to make E85 more available to consumers. According to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) in Jefferson City, Missouri, the letters ask if the companies allow individual stations to convert one of their pumps to E85.

All three political leaders have been pushing distributors to improve the infrastructure to distribute E85. Illinois has hundreds of thousands of flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on ethanol, gasoline, or a combination of the two fuels. For more information about the letters, see the NEVC April 6 press relesase.

In March, Blagojevich sent a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman asking him to include Illinois in upcoming meetings he says he is arranging with the major gasoline distributors to increase the availability of E85. Bodman had pledged to hold meeting with the distributors about increasing the availability of E85 at the national meeting of the Governors Ethanol Coalition in Washington, D.C.

Blagojevich said, "Expanding the availability of E-85 is consistent with the growing consensus that our nation must expand our use of renewable fuels and decrease our reliance on imported oil." He pointed out that the number stations dispensing E85 had increased from 14 in 1004 to more than 100 by the beginning of 2006. See the governor's March 15 press release and the text of the letter to Energy Secretary Bodman.