Minnesota is helping motorists locate E85 refueling stations by posting revised roadway signs that indicate where the alternative fuel can be found. The new signs began appearing in January and are intended to be easier and more economical for fueling stations to display.
In the past, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) guidelines stipulated that only one logo per fueling station was allowed on highway signs. However, MnDOT recently revised its regulations so that interested fueling stations can add an E85 line to their logo. For the majority of refueling stations that previously opted for that single logo to be one advertising diesel, they can now also display the availability of E85 pumps at their location. In addition, MnDOT will create directional signs indicating the proximity of E85 fueling stations along roadways.
The ethanol industry provides more than 5,300 jobs in Minnesota and brings $1.4 billion dollars a year to its economy, according to Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Web site. The State has fifteen operating ethanol plants that produce more than 500 million gallons of ethanol each year.
“Utilizing homegrown renewable fuels is good for our farmers, it’s good for rural economic development, it’s good for national security, and it’s good for the environment,” Gov. Pawlenty said. “I’d much rather get our energy from Minnesota farm fields than Middle East oil fields.”
According to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, E85 refueling stations have more than doubled in the past year, and there are almost six million E85-compatible vehicles currently on the roads. E85 pumps are now available in thirty-six states, with Minnesota and Illinois leading with the most locations.