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Governors' Biofuels Coalition
Update: Proposed Regional Flex Fuel Pump Program July 31, 2013

To: Hunter Roberts (South Dakota), Will Seffert, Charlie Poster (Minnesota); Agnes Mrozowski (Illinois); Todd Sneller (Nebraska); Robert Stout (Missouri); Maria Redmond (Wisconsin); Julie Vandehoef (Iowa)

From: Larry Pearce, David Terry

Subject: Update: Proposed Flex Fuel Pump Program to Expand Ethanol Markets and Cost-Effectively Address Air Quality

As we’ve discussed on several of our monthly conference calls, the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition is working with interested states to develop a Flex Fuel Pump Program that expands the market for ethanol from all domestic resources — conventional and advanced — while helping states to cost effectively address existing air quality issues, such as non-attainment, in urban and suburban areas.

Air pollution, such as particulate matter from vehicles, is becoming an increasing concern as state and local air agencies and state departments of transportation attempt to meet existing air regulations. As challenging as this situation is, there’s a great win-win solution. Using mid-level ethanol blends in flex fuel vehicles to mitigate the impact of burning conventional gasoline in light duty vehicles will have the following immediate benefits:

• Consumers will save money when they replace gasoline with greater amounts of low-cost ethanol in flex fuel vehicles, even after adjusting for reduced fuel mileage.

• Flex fuel vehicles utilizing mid-level blends deliver significantly improved emissions profiles that help significantly in meeting existing and potential future air quality requirements.

Status of the Program

The Coalition has developed a few guiding principles for the flex fuel pump program and is discussing funding strategies for state implementation, such as the use of states’ Congestion Mitigation Air Quality CMAQ funds (formula funding provided to states by the U.S. Department of Transportation), and other existing state and private resources. The Coalition is taking care to work with states and existing ethanol promotion stakeholders in ways that leverage ongoing ethanol blend activities and avoid duplication or detracting from existing efforts. The Coalition’s goal is to identify potential mid-level blend strategies, create a common national message, develop synergistic marketing opportunities, and increase visibility through coordinated multi-state actions.

Over the past several months, Iowa has been working with the Coalition and various Iowa agencies and stakeholders to develop the first state initiative under the program. We anticipate that Governor Branstad will announce the details of Iowa’s initiative this fall. We encourage other Coalition states to consider joining with Iowa to expand the program and provide an important signal to producers, farmers, and automakers about the states’ commitment to clean, cost-effective, domestically produced ethanol.

Next Steps and Request

We have attached some additional background information on the flex fuel pump program, and would like to schedule a conference call with you to discuss the potential for your state’s participation.

If you have any questions, please contact us at dterry@governorscoalition.org or larry@governorscoalition.org.

Thanks for all your help and interest.

 

cc: State Representatives

Attachment:  Background- Flex Fuel Pump Program