Senate Proposes Ethanol Incentives
According to an MFA E-85 map, Columbia is at the top of the list with a total of eight E-85 stations. In January of 2005, there were only 285 E-85 locations nationally. In just one year it more than doubled, and in the past year, it almost doubled again to a total of 1138 locations.
Missourians, however, aren't rushing out to turn in their old cars for new ethanol accessible ones. Some are weary of the gas mileage.
"It's all a work in progress, we're trying to overcome all the hurdles and obstacles that are out there, we're trying to over come the hurdle of getting less fuel mileage by compensating the price," said MFA Marketing Director Tom May.
"Supposedly you get about two miles less per gallon," said Kenntih Wilson, a Break Time customer. "I never check it."
"Right now, many people are driving flex fuel vehicles, but they are making, in many incidences, a wise choice not to put flex fuel in there because in some gas stations, there's not enough of a price break to offset the lower gas mileage that your going to get," said Sen. Luann Ridgeway (R) of Smithville. "For others, it's simply becuase their car doesn't run on ethanol."
Both politicians and ethanol experts agree that it comes down to a matter of cold, hard economics. Law makers are proposing a bill that would provide a tax refund for buying ethanol. The bill would require you to collect the receipts that you print out after you use E-85, then you'd get 25 cents back per gallon, which could add up to a $500 tax return.
Critics say the incentives won't last long and some Missourians say they can't justify buying a new car, just because it runs on ethanol.
Missouri's farmers are hoping their long-term investment pays off, but there are still 230 million cars that aren't ethanol accesible.