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    Gulf Brings E85 to New England

    In Minnesota, more renewable fuels being sold.

    BOSTON -- Gulf Oil LP will open its first E85 fueling station in New England at Boston's Logan Airport Thursday. It is the first Gulf station where commuters in Massachusetts can purchase an alternative fuel.

    The move is the oil company's first step in expanding New England's fuel resources and the start of an attempt to help Massachusetts’ flexible-fuel vehicle drivers.

    Scheduled to attend a grand opening ceremony Thursday are Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski, Gulf Oil Vice President Laura Scott, Congressman Bill Delahunt and Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, among others, according to the company.

    Gulf distributes motor fuels through a network of more than 2,400 Gulf-branded gasoline retail centers, 12 proprietary oil terminals and a network of more than 50 other supply terminals. Though its ownership interest in World Energy, the petroleum marketer is the nation's largest distributor of bio-diesel.

    In other E85 news, the Minnesota Department of Commerce noted an increase in overall E85 sales in the state throughout 2008, even as gasoline sales declined for four consecutive months. While vehicles using E85 instead of gasoline get fewer miles per gallon, the price of the ethanol-based fuel in Minnesota is averaging from 40 to 60 cents less than regular unleaded, according to the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.

    Minnesota state employees are adopting cleaner-burning alternative fuels like E85 in state vehicles. According to a new report from the Minnesota SmartFleet Committee, E85 use in the state fleet during the first three quarters of 2008 was 79 percent greater than during the same period in 2007. In the first nine months of 2008, 529,000 gallons of E85 were used to fuel the state's roughly 1,700 flex-fuel vehicles. Last year at this point, only 295,000 gallons of the locally produced fuel were used.

    "We have increased our E85 use to approximately 12 percent of our total fuel purchases," said Tim Morse, chair of the SmartFleet Committee and director of Fleet and Surplus Services for the Minnesota Department of Administration. "That's very good progress toward our goal, but with E85 available at more than 360 locations statewide, we can do even better."

    The report was hailed by the American Lung Association of Minnesota, which supports the use of E85. "A flexible fuel vehicle running on E85 instead of gasoline produces significantly less tailpipe emissions than the same vehicle using gasoline," said Kelly Marczak, director of the American Lung Association of Minnesota's clean fuels program. "To date, the state fleet's use of E85 in 2008 has prevented more than 2,100 tons of lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful pollutants from entering our air."

    There are an estimated 200,000 vehicles that can use E85 as well as gasoline on the road in Minnesota.

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