E85, Automakers and Bush

The United States automaker chief executives met with and further pushed President George Bush to back incentives bringing e85 ethanol and biodiesel to more gas stations across the country. The automotive companies examined their output of the newest flex-fuel vehicles.

In five years, half the cars made by General Motors, Chrysler and Ford Motor company, would be capable to run on biodiesel or E85, the automotive executives explained.

The meeting with President Bush in Washington DC was for the second time in about 16 weeks that Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan R. Mulally of Ford and Thomas W. LaSorda of Chrysler urged President Bush to expand access to more and more biofuels. The automaker executives wanted that over the proposed stricter fuel economy as a way to cut America’s oil use.

“If the goal is to reduce oil imports and improve the environment, the opportunity is first of all in ethanol, biodiesel,” Wagoner explained to reporters after the summit. They spent almost no time at all conversing about mileage, he said.

The United States of America has over six million flex-fuel vehicles on the roads, but of the country’s 170,000 gas stations we only have 2,000 E85 or biodiesel pumps, they added.

“We are willing to lead the way,” the automakers’ stated. “We need government and fuel providers to increase infrastructure before we can make a meaningful impact.”

President Bush did not comment publicly to biofuel incentives. America’s ethanol producers, made mainly from corn, receive a tax credits of 51 cents per gallon. They also receive a 54 cent tariff on every gallon of ethanol that is imported. Flex-fuel vehicle automakers get a credit that lets them increase their automobile’s fuel economy.

Putting E85 stations within five miles of American motorists would require at a minimum of 20,000 pumps, Phil Lampert says, the director of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition based in Jefferson City, Missouri.

President Bush is calling for a 20% cut in American’s oil consumption within a decade, 75% of that figure factors using alternative fuels, and the rest of the 25% will be attributed to better vehicle fuel economy.

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