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DES MOINES, Iowa -- With the recent announcement that Kum & Go will add 19 new E85 ethanol fueling locations in the state by the end of 2008, the chain is securing its status as the premier alternative fuel provider in the state.
The plan was celebrated at the Iowa State Fair during an event presided over by Iowa Governor Chet Culver, GM executives and Kum & Go. As of July 4, the convenience store chain operated nine outlets with E85 -- the most in the state.
The program is the result of a partnership between the 450-location convenience chain, automotive maker General Motors (GM) and the state of Iowa.
To expand the use of alternative fuels, the Department of Energy supported the companies' effort by awarding the largest funding to any state last year. That funding will support Kum & Go's plans to complete 19 new E85 fueling sites at existing retail stores in Iowa, and an additional five fueling sites at locations in South Dakota and Minnesota.
"We know how much our customers care about the environment and we're proud to offer them the choice for renewable fuels at the pump," Kyle Krause, president and CEO of Kum & Go, said in a statement. "Our new sites are helping make E85 ethanol more available to more of our customers throughout the state."
The new fueling locations will be promoted by GM as part of a broader, ongoing national campaign to boost the use and awareness of ethanol-based E85 fuel in the U.S.
As part of the project, GM will promote the partnership with consumer and dealer outreach. Local dealers will promote new refueling stations when customers purchase flex-fuel vehicles.
"GM wants to be a part of the solution to reduce this nation's dependence on petroleum and we appreciate the efforts of Governor Culver and Kum & Go to support E85 ethanol," said Elizabeth Lowery, GM vice president of environment, energy and safety policy.
"I commend General Motors, Kum & Go and organizations including the American Lung Association for supporting alternative fuels and making E85 ethanol more widely available to Iowa drivers," Culver said in a statement. "It's important that we support our local energy economies while decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. These new E85 refueling sites will help provide Iowans with even more opportunities to choose biofuels."