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Consumers to have more choices at the pumps thanks to Indiana corn farmers

Sunday, October 2, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS -- Hoosier consumers will soon be seeing new flex fuel pumps at fuel retailers across the state, thanks to a new program launched by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC).

The new flex fuel pumps give more Hoosier consumers the choice to use ethanol blends when fueling their flex fuel vehicles.

The Flex Fuel Pump Program, unveiled during the Indiana Ethanol Forum in Indianapolis earlier this summer, awarded cost-share dollars to Indiana fuel retailers looking to install flex fuel pumps.

Recipients of the grants include Little Point Auto and Truck Stop, south of Stilesville; Austin West-Side Sunoco; Eddie's Service, West Baden; and Capital Express Mart, Granger.

Each of the stations will receive up to $20,000 in grant funds from ICMC.

"Hoosier corn farmers believe consumers should have the opportunity to have choices at the gas pump when filling up their vehicles," David Howell, ICMC vice president and farmer from Middletown, said. "The Flex Fuel Pump Program allows consumers to select the type of ethanol blend they want to use in their flex fuel vehicle and take advantage of the potential cost benefits of using ethanol."

Flex fuel pumps -- also known as blender pumps -- allow fuel retailers to offer consumers a variety of fuel blends, including blends of 20 percent (E20), 30 percent (E30), and even 50 percent (E50) ethanol-to-gasoline.

Drivers of flex fuel vehicles can use up to an 85 percent (E85) blend in their cars and trucks.

"We are excited about the impressive response from fuel retailers across the state in applying for these grants and their interest in installing flex fuel pumps," Greg Noble, ICMC biofuels director, said. "Hoosier corn farmers understand how important it is to increase opportunities for consumers to choose ethanol -- an environmentally-friendly, renewable American-made fuel. Increasing the number of stations with flex fuel pumps is vital."

Because of the overwhelming success of this year's Flex Fuel Pump Program, funds have been allocated to support additional grants in 2012. Noble said the program benefits consumers by allowing them to choose both quality and price at the pump when it comes to ethanol-blended fuel. It also allows fuel retailers to expand their fuel lineup to better serve their customers with flex fuel vehicles.

"We continue to hear from fuel retailers interested in adding flex fuel pumps to their stations and our farmer-directors are committed to providing the cost-share dollars to make this a reality," Noble added. "We are looking forward to announcing more recipients of this year's grant funds, as well as working with retailers looking to apply for the grants in 2012."

The Flex Fuel Pump Program offers fuel retailers grants up to 50 percent or $20,000 (whichever is less) toward the purchase of a flex fuel pump, hardware and storage tank or the conversion of an existing pump to a flex fuel pump. The program is open to both new and existing stations in Indiana.

For more information on the Flex Fuel Pump Program, persons may call 317-644-0980 or email cornethanolinfo@indianacorn.org.

The Indiana Corn Marketing Council was established by the Indiana General Assembly to promote the interest of corn growers in the state and manage corn check-off funds. The council is composed of 17 voting producer directors and seven appointed industry and government representatives.

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