E85 Boondoggle of the Day: Indiana Corn Marketing Council's $5k Grant to Gas Stations

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
e85 boondoggle of the day indiana corn marketing councils 5k grant to gas stations

“It can be an expensive process to install the pumps and get the infrastructure ready to sell E85, so we’re offering as much assistance as we can to those retailers that have elected to sell E85.” So sayeth Mark Walters, Biofuels Director for the Indiana Corn Marketing Council. Apparently the "as much as we can bit" amounts to $5k per eligible gas station. Big whoop. Shell Oil– which doesn't pay for any of its franchisees to sell E85– pegs the cost of a corn juice compatible storage tank at $240k. And that doesn't include the time and hassle of local planning permission, or the disruption of construction to normal trade. According to the Brownfield Network (AG News for America), "Walters says that if the state grant is increased to $20,000 as proposed, the two combined should be very attractive to retailers." But not customers. At the moment, Indiana only has 100 E85 retailers, and you can bet that's not because consumers are clamoring for the stuff. [check out the podcast with Mr. Walters at the bottom of BN's post]

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  • Raskolnikov Raskolnikov on Jan 29, 2008

    Even though I live in Indiana (large corn producer) and my dad farms 400 acres of the stuff (big $$ for ethanol), I still wish we'd get on with making cellulosic ethanol, and leave the corn for Fritos. Has anyone figured out how to make fuel from those plastic grocery bags? I have a sh!t pot full of those.

  • Becurb Becurb on Jan 30, 2008
    red dawg : I live about 20 miles from the only E85 staion with-in a hundred miles. Sen Richard Lugar(R-Ind.) said in an interview when the station near me had finally finished the installation E85 would consistantly be 20-30 cents a gallon less the regular unleaded. Not so. At the station i pass frequently it is consistantly 20,30, and 40 cents a galloon higher !!!!!!! Coupled with the lower miles per gallon from E85, high cost and the severly limited availibilty it is no wonder it isn’t selling like we all lied to that it would. This seems like the Olds "diesel" engine all over again. The best way to kill this particular porcine idiocy is for consumers to vote with their wallets, and not purchase it. With higher prices and less MPG, that should not be difficult, fortunately. Of course, I have no doubt that the lobbists for this pork will clamor all the louder for more funds for more ethanol plants, which they will all swear will make ethanol cheaper... The correct answer of course is to kill the pork ADM and ConAgra receive, and hope the current stupidity does not kill the market for biomass ethanol. Just like the Olds "diesel" nearly killed the market for passenger diesel engines. :-)

  • Jason Jason on Jan 30, 2008

    If Iowa wasn't first on the list of primary states, we wouldn't even be talking about corn ethanol. No offense to Iowans, but seriously. If eggplants were their cash crop, we'd be talking about running cars on eggplants. It's a huge waste of time and resources all because politicians pander to this very small minority of Americans.