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Renewable energies take spotlight in July
By DAVE BLOWER JR.
Farm World Editor

GREENFIELD, Ind. — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ goal of making Indiana the “Texas of Renewable Fuels” has been gaining ground in recent weeks.

This month alone, state officials hosted a ribbon-cutting event on July 12 for the opening of Indiana’s 40th ethanol pump at a station in Greenfield; celebrated a Tipton service station on July 8 that sells two blends of ethanol and biodiesel mixed with 100 percent American crude oil, and on July 19 production started at the Evergreen Renewables biodiesel production facility in Hammond.

Also, on Aug. 3, the Indiana Soybean Board will sponsor Renewable Energy Day at the Farm World Expo. The day will begin with energy experts providing new information about renewable fuels during the Expo’s Free Farmers’ Breakfast from 8-10 a.m.

The Expo, Aug. 1-3 at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds in Terre Haute, Ind., will be the largest outdoor farm show in Indiana or Illinois this summer. For more details about the show, visit www.farmworldexpo.com

“The need for biofuels has never been more pressing than it is today,” said Indiana Soybean Board Executive Director Chris Novak. “Americans import more than 60 percent of our energy needs. The time has come for Hoosiers to seek out, and use, soy biodiesel blended fuels that reduce our dependence on foreign oil, strengthen Indiana’s economy and improve our air quality.”

No foreign oil is used at the Energy PLUS 24 station in Tipton. Regional partners Co-Alliance LLP/IMPACT Cooperative, which is owned by Indiana corn and soybean growers, operate the station. “Soy biodiesel and corn-based ethanol are a great complement to Co-op-refined fuels since they’re already 100 percent American made,” said Co-Alliance CEO Kevin A. Still. The station’s fuel supplier, Countrymark Co-op, uses only Illinois Basin crude to supply operations at its farmer-owned refinery in Mt. Vernon, Ind.

The Indiana Soybean Board, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Central Indiana Clean Cities Alliance (CICCA) have been helping retailers secure funding and meet requirements when adding E85 and B20 equipment.

“The federal government has set the goal of tripling U.S. use of biofuels and bio-based products by the year 2010,” said CICCA Executive Director Kellie Walsh. “Meeting this goal will create jobs and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

GasAmerica Fuel Manager Jim Gentry said his company is planning on adding more E85 pumps in the near future.

“GasAmerica is proud that one of its Greenfield stores was selected as the location to celebrate achieving the state’s goal of 40 E85 pumps,” Gentry said. “We made the decision to offer biofuels, including E85, because customers were asking for it. As an Indiana-based company, we also believe it is important to support our state’s economy, and by offering E85 and biodiesel, we are supporting Indiana farmers.”

State officials set the goal of 40 E85 pumps by the end of the year. Now, they are hoping to double that number.

“In May of 2005 you could not buy E85 at an Indiana gas station. Today we not only celebrate reaching our goal of opening 40 pumps but we are doing it six months ahead of schedule,” said Lt. Governor Skillman, who also serves as the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development and oversees the Indiana Office of Energy and Defense Development.

“Reaching our 40-pump goal is symbolic of our commitment to growing Indiana’s biofuels industry. And, as I have said all along, making E85 accessible to Hoosiers is essential to the success of our biofuels efforts. Having so many pumps come on-line ahead of schedule is a credit to the vision of the many retailers across the state and the new direction Indiana is heading.”

Indiana’s departments of energy and agriculture have been working together.

“We believe it is important to promote alternative power, energy efficiency, biofuels and education for Hoosiers around the state,” said John Clark, Director of the Office of Energy and Defense Development. “Our rapid pace of installing public E85 pumps across the state is doing just that.”

This farm news was published in the July 19, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

7/19/2006