Republican News

Republican News

Mar 01 2006

Domenici Applauds Bodman's Plans to Look into Construction of E85 Fueling Stations

Alternative fuel infrastructure important to reducing U.S. reliance on Middle East oil

Washington, D.C. – Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici today publicly encouraged the construction of more ethanol fueling stations and expressed strong support for Secretary Bodman’s announced intention of looking into the matter.

Bodman, Secretary of the Department of Energy, told the Governors Ethanol Coalition yesterday that he would visit with oil company executives about expanding the number of ethanol stations in franchises owned by major oil companies. 

The energy bill will increase the use of ethanol in U.S. gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons in 2012. In addition, car manufacturers are stepping up the production of flex fuel vehicles that can run on a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The fuel – called E85 – can be a key component in reducing U.S. reliance on Middle East oil, Domenici said.

“Because of the energy bill, farmers around the country are growing more crops for ethanol. Small towns around America are revitalizing their local economies by building ethanol plants. Right now, 34 new ethanol plants are under construction, 8 existing plants are being expanded today more than 150 new plants are in the planning stage. Over the next six years alone, ethanol is expected to replace 2 billion barrels of foreign oil and create more than 234,000 jobs.

“The energy bill set America on the right path. The fuel E85 builds on what we did in the energy bill and moves us toward the President’s goal of reducing our reliance on Middle East oil 75 percent by 2025,” Domenici said.

“Right now, there are roughly 30 models of vehicles on the road that can run on fuels like E85. Auto manufacturers have announced plans to build more. A representative from Ford Motor Company will testify at the Energy Committee’s hearing  next week about their plans for helping us reduce oil consumption in the transportation sector.

"But if we are going to move from Middle East oil to alternative fuels like ethanol, we need to build the infrastructure. Right now, we have only 600 ethanol stations in 40 states. There are only three in my home state of New Mexico. People aren’t going to buy cars powered by ethanol if they have to drive a hundred miles to fill their tanks. I share Secretary Bodman’s concern about the lack of E85 fueling stations and commend him for addressing this issue," he said.