Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2005

Ethanol fuel rally planned

E10 unleaded fuel will be discounted 30 cents

May 5, 2005

In what its organizers hope will increase awareness of ethanol and its advantages to the state economy, a Eudora convenience store will offer a blend of the Kansas-produced fuel at a discounted rate Monday.

A blend of regular unleaded and 10-percent ethanol will be sold at a 30-cent per gallon discount from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday at KWIK Shop, 1436 Church St. The ethanol rally is sponsored by the Douglas County Farm Bureau, Kansas Agri-Women and the Kansas Corn and Grain Sorghum commissions.

With the United States increasingly dependent on foreign oil and gas prices skyrocketing, organizers are offering the ethanol rally to demonstrate there is an alternative.

"E10 unleaded contains 10 percent ethanol that is produced right here in Kansas," said Douglas County Farm Bureau board member Jim Congrove. "This is a high quality fuel that helps us reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And important to drivers is the fact that E10 unleaded is priced below regular unleaded gas."

Jody McAfee, manager of the Eudora KWIK Shop, said she and her staff were preparing for a busy four hours. The store will have extra clerks on duty to handle the expected crush, she said.

All six of the store's pumps will offer the ethanol blend during the rally, and a truck will be on hand to ensure that the fuel keeps flowing, McAfee said.

Although Monday will give motorists a chance to take advantage of a bargain, the ethanol blend, which is already priced below regular unleaded at many locations in the state, will be discounted 30 cents per gallon during the rally, Congrove said.

The potential effects to the state economy that increased ethanol use could bring are clear enough to attract a number of politicians to the event. In addition to state Rep. Anthony Brown of Eudora, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky, U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, state Sen. Roger Pine and state Rep. Tom Holland of Baldwin will participate in the event.

The 10-percent ethanol blend fuel is approved for use in all gas-powered engines including small engines like lawn mowers.

There are six dry mill ethanol plants in operation with a capacity of 135 million gallons. Current Kansas production creates a market for about 50 million bushels of sorghum and corn.

East Kansas Agri Energy at Garnett is completing construction of a refinery with the capacity to produce 35 million gallons of ethanol a year. The plant should be in production by June. With its completion, Kansas production capacity will be 165 million gallons a year. Other potential plants are in various stages of planning.

"This ethanol promotion at the Eudora KWIK Shop is a good opportunity to try the E10 unleaded and save some money at the same time," Congrove said. "The main difference you'll notice is the lower price for a better fuel. When you buy E10 unleaded right now, you are actually getting a higher octane fuel for a lower price."

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