Kearney, MO, Aug 17, 2011 -- It is extremely inspiring to imagine the developments United States research has given us in the past 50 years. When it comes to agriculture, one of many amazing developments was the introduction of ethanol. Ethanol has become such a buzzword within the media that I am sure we are all aware of its potential. For those who need a quick crash course, here it is. Ethanol can be used to substitute a small percentage of gasoline in most vehicles. Many major car companies have made pledges to even boost the number of flex-fuel vehicles on the roads and highways.
For some time now the public has had some general knowledge of ethanol’s capability to serve as a gasoline substitute. However some things the public may not know is that Missouri is the third state to require gas stations sell a mix of ethanol-blended gasoline. Another fact that may not be well known is that the USDA Rural Development created a program known as the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) that assists with new renewable energy systems and improving energy efficiency in rural areas, which also includes funding for flex-fuel pumps.
Judy Canales, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Services, joined me in the “Show-Me State” at Kearney, Missouri, to help unveil one of our first Rural Development funded blender pumps. We visited the Platte-Clay Fuels headquarters and pumping station to celebrate the accomplishments of a combined effort to establish more ethanol blending pumps. Platt-Clay Fuels has also installed another flex-fuel pump at their station located in Platte City.
As State Director of USDA Rural Development, I am so proud of the key stakeholders involved with our success across Missouri. Missouri leads the way in the total number of blender pumps approved and established throughout the nation with the financing of 26 pumps this first year of the initiative. This happened because of the team efforts of USDA, Rural Development, Growth Energy, the Missouri Association of Electric Coops, the Missouri Corn Growers, and all the station owners in the state who have a strong desire for change in the way we fuel our state and country.
“Missouri is on top!” said Rural Development Administrator Canales at the event in Kearney. As the crowd watched, Canales demonstrated the simplicity of using blender pumps. In the words of the Administrator, Missouri has “REAPed rewards” due in part to the aggressive nature Missouri has assumed.
The Obama Administration is committed to reducing our use of fossil fuel and our dependence on foreign oil. Missouri has stepped out in front to help meet this goal
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