EPIC helps to bring blender pumps to Kansas

By Anna Austin | August 04, 2008
Web exclusive posted August 20, 2008 at 2:02 p.m. CST

Motorists in Colwich, Kan., received a considerable discount on midlevel ethanol blends at TJ's Convenience Store on Aug. 18, designating the beginning of a statewide initiative to increase the awareness and use of E10, E20, E30 and E85 blends. The event, sponsored by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, and the Kansas Corn Commission, gave flex-fuel vehicle owners a discount of 40 cents per gallon on E20 and 60 cents per gallon on E30. In addition, E85 was sold for $1.85 per gallon. Non-flex fueled vehicles that filled with E10 were allowed a 20 cent per gallon discount.

Robert White, deputy director of EPIC, said the event was a success and well-attended. "We had two dispensers that could fill two cars each at a timethere were cars at all of them at all times." He added that attendees seemed very receptive of program. "We had several customers that were looking to try new blends of ethanol," White said. The pumps at the convenience store have been operational for several weeks.

Speakers at a press conference following the event included White, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky, President and CEO of ICM Inc. Dave Vander Griend, and Bob Timmons, chairman of the Kansas Corn Commission.

During the conference, EPIC and the Kansas Corn Commission announced a collaboration of the two groups to launch a blender pump incentive program across the state of Kansas. "Consumers are looking for relief at the pump, and blender pumps will allow gas stations to sell more blends of ethanol-enriched fuel to consumers driving flex-fuel vehicles," White said. "This program will support incentives to fuel station retailers who want the opportunity to offer blender pumps, and raise awareness among consumers."

The major initiative of the program will aid fuel station retailers in obtaining funding and equipment needed to sell higher blends of ethanol. To date, there are three blender pumps in Kansas available for use.

"Today is a great day for Kansas as we help the ethanol industry expand higher blends of ethanol through blender pumps while also giving consumers a break at the pump and allowing them to use a product produced right here in Kansas," Timmons said. "This program will help strengthen our economy by encouraging blender pump infrastructure development, and take us one step closer to weakening our dependence on foreign oil."