A chain of gas stations in Iowa and other Midwestern states will add E-85, a blend of gasoline with 85-percent ethanol. Ethanol promoter Todd Sneller says the fuel is another use for an Iowa crop that’ll ensure strong demand and steady prices for the corn. About 500-million gallons of ethanol are expected to be produced in 2004 in Nebraska and Iowa’s ahead of even that, moving into the nation’s number-one spot with 800-Million gallons expected in the next year. Sneller says state boards are working together to encourage dealers to sell the fuel, and letting people know where it’s available. Nebraska’s a top ethanol-producing state, as is Iowa, so part of the program is to establish “corridors” along interstates and major highways, setting up uniform signage to direct customers to E-85 outlets and working with companies that sell fuel in the region to make sure E-85 is available in a variety of locations. Sneller, who heads the Nebraska ethanol board, appeared today (Monday) with Fred Bosselman, Junior, to tell about plans to sell E-85 in a chain of gas stops across the region owned by the Bosselman family. They own 36 “Pump&Pantry” gas stations and eight big Travel Centers, and eventually plan to sell E-85 at all of them including the Iowa Travel Center in Altoona. Bosselman says the chain wants to support the regional farming economy by offering travelers the alternative fuel.States in this area all produce corn and have ethanol plants, he says it’s a local product that lets us depend less on high-priced foreign petroleum. Bosselman adds that since more and more cars are being designed to run on high-ethanol blends, they’re “an excellent alternative to gasoline.” To learn if your car, truck or SUV can burn E-85, look for the letters F-F-V inside the gas cap or the front wheel-well, ask a car dealer, or check the chart at gas stations that sell the E-85 fuel. Promoters say there are four-Million flexible-fuel vehicles on the road, and all late-model Ford Taurus cars, Chrysler mini-vans and Ford Rangers can use E-85.
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