Iowa agriculture officials hope the part of the federal Energy Bill dealing with E-85 gets through the legislative process, encouraging the increased use of the 85-percent ethanol fuel. State Ag Secretary Patty Judge says the nation needs to start looking more seriously at E-85 as the fuel of the future. Judge says most cars purchased today, including the one she drives, are able to work with the E-85 fuel. Illinois Senator Barack Obama is sponsoring a bill that would give a 15-thousand-dollar tax credit to gas stations that establish E-85 pumps. Judge says America needs to turn more toward renewable corn-based fuels.She says it will start “busting the stranglehold that foreign oil interests have on this country.” Judge says it is a little embarrassing that states like Minnesota have 160 gas stations offering E-85 while Iowa, the largest corn and ethanol producing state, only has 16 stations.Judge says Minnesota’s been a jump ahead of Iowa in starting up ethanol plants and in launching E-85, but she vows Iowa “will catch up with ’em and then we’ll pass ’em and leave ’em in the dust. That’s what we do every time.” Judge made her comments at the weekend open house for the Golden Grain ethanol plant in Mason City.
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