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Old August 29th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default Go Granholm

Gov. Granholm announces fund to help add E85, biodiesel pumps
Associated Press Newswires 08/29/06
by Kathy Barks Hoffman
Copyright 2006. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced Tuesday that the state is setting aside $250,000 to help service station owners convert gasoline pumps to alternative fuel pumps.

The governor said she hopes the new grants will lead to 1,000 pumps being installed or converted by 2008, a 20 percent increase over the number of pumps now offering biodiesel fuel or E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

Service station owners will have to pay at least half the cost of refitting their pumps or installing new ones. Refitting costs around $5,000, while installing a new pump can cost around $18,000, said Russell Youngdahl, CEO of CleanFUELUSA, which is helping companies such as Walker-based Meijer Inc. convert their pumps.

The state is asking nonprofit groups for state projects to provide incentives to service station owners to convert or install the alternative fuel pumps.

Although states such as Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota currently have the largest number of alternative fuel pumps, "I candidly believe the next frontier is the eastern Corn Belt," Youngdahl said. That includes Upper Midwest states such as Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.

Nationwide, about 4 million vehicles now on the road can use E85 or gasoline. Most owners use unleaded gasoline because of the scarcity of stations selling E85. Many trucks now using diesel can use biodiesel, a blend of diesel fuel and various products such as vegetable oil.

This is the second round in a series of grants being made available by the state. In July, NextEnergy received a $62,500 grant to provide the first round of grants to service stations. The initial grants are expected to be awarded in September.
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