While General Motors launched its “Live Green, Go Yellow” campaign this week to promote vehicles running on E-85 fuel, a health advocacy group is challenging all automakers to offer still more cars, trucks and vans that use the cleaner-burning fuel. E-85 is 15-percent gasoline and 85-percent ethanol — and Iowa leads the nation in producing the corn-based fuel. Tim Gerlach, spokesman for American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, says E-85 is a big step in the right direction.
Gerlach says E-85 holds the promise of helping cut tailpipe emissions and greenhouse gases, with more than five-million of the vehicles on the road. He says “It’s not ‘tomorrow-hydrogen’ or science fiction vehicles that might be out in two or three decades. We can do it right now, today.” In addition to helping reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, Gerlach says E-85 is a much cleaner-burning fuel than traditional gasoline.
Gerlach says when any fuel is burned, carbon dioxide is given off, but with bio-based fuels like E-85 or biodiesel, the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere is being cut back significantly, which is becoming an important issue as it pertains to global warming and climate change. One complaint that’s often heard in Iowa, despite being the nation’s leading ethanol producer, is the lack of E-85 pumps, as they’re few and far between in some cities.
He says states like Illinois and Minnesota are farther ahead as they were pilot markets to build a bunch of stations to try to convert people to using E-85. He predicts Iowa will very soon catch up and surpass the other states. Gerlach says the Midwest is already leading the nation in E-85 production and use, while constructing the necessary refueling network. He says now that we can buy E-85 at hundreds of stations throughout the Midwest, we need more vehicle choices.
Gerlach says cars are the single-biggest source of air pollution in the Midwest and the nation and while progress is being made with flexible fuel vehicles and other reduced emissions, so many more people are driving now that some of the gains are being offset. For more information, surf to “cleanairchoice.org” or “e85fuel.com”.