Issue: Mar 2006


Look for Ethanol on Your Vacation



Feel Good About Leaving Less Pollution Behind

by Rob White

his travel season, with 76 percent of all vacations taken by car, motorists who use ethanol will be able to breathe easier knowing that they're doing their part to ease summertime pollution haze. Compared to unleaded gasoline, ethanol-enriched fuel helps to reduce greenhouse gases and tailpipe carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 30 percent. Before you leave on your trip, make note of the many service stations across the country that offer ethanol-enriched fuel.

"Many consumers do not realize that E-10, a commonly available blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline, can run in all automobiles currently sold in the United States," says Tom Slunecka, executive director of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC). "In fact, all major auto manufacturers that sell cars in the United States have approved ethanol- enriched fuels. Many even explicitly recommend using ethanol for its clean- burning benefits."

Since there are no national standards for ethanol fuel labeling, look for a sticker on the pump with the words "Ethanol-blended fuel" or "E-10." If no label is visible, ask the retailer if ethanol is available. If you drive a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV), look for a pump labeled "E-85." FFVs are vehicles that allow the use of E-85, an 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline blend. The gas caps on late model FFVs are clearly marked, but for older vehicles, check your owner's manual.

"Ethanol-enriched fuel is environmentally friendly, renewable and is currently available at thousands of gas stations across the country," said Slunecka. "Ethanol is American-made and is crucial in helping reduce our dependence on oil."

"Currently, ethanol-enriched fuels account for approximately 3 percent of all automotive fuels sold in the United States, which is the equivalent of 140,000 barrels of imported oil per day," Slunecka says. "With increased consumer awareness and support for ethanol, we can move the needle and further reduce the amount of oil we currently import from other countries."

This travel season, consumers can fill up with ethanol-enriched fuel and feel good about their choice. For more information about filling up with ethanol during your travels, visit http://www.drivingethanol.org/ .

About EPIC

The Ethanol Promotion & Information Council (EPIC) is an alliance of ethanol producers and industry leaders who have come together to spread the word about the benefits of ethanol through information and promotional programs. EPIC is a nonprofit organization and is overseen by a seven-member board of directors. For more information about EPIC, visit http://www.drivingethanol.org/ .


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