After visiting the Kentucky State Fair and noting its long-standing emphasis on agriculture, State Rep. Steve Riggs said he is calling on his fellow legislators and those managing local and state government auto fleets to buy more flex-fuel vehicles and increase their use of E85 fuel.
“Kentucky has a strong, diverse farming community, but we can and should be doing more to promote it,” said Riggs, of Louisville. “I think challenging those in government to take a leading role is one of the best ways to increase the number of these vehicles in Kentucky and the number of stations wanting to sell this fuel.
“Since I bought a flex-fuel car earlier this year, I have been thoroughly pleased with the gas mileage, especially when factoring in the much-cheaper prices at the pump,” he added. “This vehicle is better environmentally; it promotes our country’s energy independence; and it supports the farmers that grow corn and the agri-businesses that make E85 and other ethanol blends possible. I want to see our local and state leaders step up and take advantage of all that these vehicles have to offer.”
Riggs is the long-time chairman of the House Local Government Committee and has been working with the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, as well as the Kentucky Corn Growers and Kentucky Small Grain Growers Associations, to promote the vehicles while increasing access to the fuel.
“As chairman, I am in constant contact with local leaders across the state, so I am using that network to ask them to do even more in this area,” Riggs said. “This would build on the work they are already doing when it comes to energy efficiency and their increasing use of alternative fuels.”
Riggs praised those fuel companies providing E85 in Kentucky. “There is always a chicken-and-egg dilemma when it comes to increasing fuel options, but Thortons, Speedway and Mapco are among those leading the way in solving that by making sure this fuel is available at a growing number of their stations. My hope is that, in the not-too-distant future, we will see this number jump significantly and have many other companies follow their lead.”
Agriculturally based feedstocks, including corn, make up most of the E85 blend, with petroleum consisting of the rest. According to the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, there are more than 60 stations across Kentucky offering E-85. The website E95prices.com, meanwhile, shows that the average August cost for E85 is $2.09 per gallon in Kentucky versus $2.44 for the E10 blend.
A map of available locations selling E85 can be found here: http://kentuckycleanfuels.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/E85-Kentucky-Station-Map.pdf.