Blunt Pumps Up Ethanol

1 decade 7 months 4 days ago February 23, 2006 Feb 23, 2006 Thursday, February 23 2006 Thursday, February 23, 2006 6:50:27 AM CST in News

A proposed bill would require all fuel sold in Missouri to have 10% ethanol. But, people are still puzzled at the pump.

"I think it's just new," said convenience store manager Darlene Harris. "People don't know if it's good or bad."

Harris hears all sorts of fuel talk.

"Gas prices, they'll ask me when the gas is going to change, you know. I say, 'Did the phone ring? Did someone ask me to change the gas prices? I don't know when they are going to change.'"

There also are questions about the corn product.

"Is it going to work in my car?" asked Julie Kearns.

But, farmers say, ethanol is easy to understand.

"Ethanol is made from corn," explained Gary Marshall of the Missouri Corn Growers Association. "You can only use the starch portion of the corn to produce the ethanol. All the protein is left for a very valuable livestock feed."

So, state lawmakers are pushing ethanol legislation.

"All trucks, light trucks and passenger vehicles in the state of Missouri, when they pull up to a gas pump to get fuel, they'd fuel up with gasoline that contains 10% ethanol," Blunt explained.

If 10% ethanol is required, supporters said prices will be more stable at the pump. But, critics said there's no guarantee.

"There's a lot of knowledge that needs to be out there. A lot of people need information," said car dealer Joe Merkle. "I guess I'm going to have to do a little more research."

Research that adds fuel to the ethanol debate. Gov. Blunt said the state would need 260 million gallons of ethanol a year to meet the 10% requirement.

Ethanol Facts (from the Missouri Corn Growers Association)

  • One bushel of corn can yield about 2.8 gallons of ethanol.
  • One acre of corn can produce enough ethanol to fuel a car for 72,000 milies on E-10 unleaded.
  • Each barrel of ethanol produced replaces 1.2 barrels of petroleum.
  • By 2010, U.S. ethanol production could replace the equivalent of 311,000 barrels of crude oil per day or one large oil tanker each week.
  • Ethanol reduces carbon monoxide emissions by up to 30%.

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