Showing posts from April, 2018

New Station Openings

Despite the cold and snow that persisted in Minnesota through mid-April, making construction projects a little slower, there were a number of stations that have added new dispensers offering E85, E15 (also known as 88 Octane), or other ethanol blends. So far in 2018, twelve new stations, listed below, are now selling flex fuel options and have been added to the station directory.

For a full list of locations in Minnesota offering E85 and other flex fuels, visit or use the search function on to find your nearest 88 Octane or nearest E85 station.

Check back frequently this spring and summer to learn of the newest station openings!

Kwik Trip #104
8191 179th St NW

Grand Rapids

Casey’s General Store #3613
302 SE 7th Ave

Maple Grove

Bobby & Steve’s
9805 Maple Grove Pkwy N


Casey’s General Store #3591
313 Shimmcor St


Casey’s General Store #3601
175 Nelson Blvd


Casey’s General Store #3675
1080 US Highway 12


Springtime in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

As this story was being written, April half-over, it was snowing and the northern parts of Minnesota  awakened to low temperatures near zero degrees Fahrenheit. So far, 2018 has given our state all white and little green. That’s just springtime in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Minnesota is a place where you get to experience all four seasons. Sure, we like to joke about having only two‒winter and road construction‒it gives us something to talk about. But next time you’re making a thing of the weather and whining about wearing a winter parka in April, remember all of those jobs in which weather is truly a big deal.

At present, 24,000 Minnesota farmers are staring out at cold (in places, still snow-covered) fields and wondering when they'll be able to plant their 2018 crop. If they grow corn and have federal crop insurance, the first date they could have planted was April 11. But no farmers attempted to plant yet this spring as soil temperatures are far too low.

A lot of jobs are '…

Earth Day and Ethanol

Did you know that April 22 – Earth Day – is the anniversary of an environmental movement? This movement signaled a shift in how we care for our environment. A visit to the Earth Day website will reveal that one of the driving factors behind the actual idea for this annual holiday came after U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson observed “the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.” Senator Nelson, considered the founder of Earth Day, wanted to put air and water quality into the public awareness and in political conversations.

Still important today, these conversations are evolving as new environmental issues emerge. The celebration of Earth Day is “a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.” So what is one of the most prominent issues that comes to mind as far as a threat to the “health” of our planet Earth today? Many will say it is global warming. Climate change.

The author of a recent E and E News article argues that cars are one of t…

A Look At The State Of Our Air, and How To Keep It Clean

The American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air Report, issued on April 18, 2018, gives Minnesota generally good grades for air quality. The report looked at three years (2014-2016) of air quality data collected by the state and verified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Compared to last year’s report, two counties (Lyon and Scott) saw better grades for ozone.  For particulate pollution, four counties (Dakota, Olmsted, Washington, and Wright) had slightly poorer grades this year.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, vehicle emissions are one of the largest sources of air pollution in the state. Fortunately, Minnesota is doing something about that by increasing the number of alternative fuel options available to drivers.

Minnesota has seen growth in the number of retail stations offering cleaner-burning ethanol blends such as E85 and E15 (also known as 88 octane). Nationally recognized as a leader in cleaner biofuels, Minnesota is setting an example f…

"Happy Tax Day!"

That has to be the hollowest of holiday greetings. In a best case, you’ve submitted your income tax returns and are now patiently awaiting a refund on overpaying last year. Nobody enjoys paying taxes. However, most of us understand we all 'chip in' to cover the costs of running a successful and healthy society. We might grumble, but stuff like bridges and highways are important to all of us.

We pay a lot of different taxes: federal and state income taxes; property taxes; state and local sales taxes; and all sorts of assessments on everything from buying a hunting license to registering a kayak. Fuel taxes‒federal and state fees we pay on every gallon we pump‒are understood by few drivers. And as you might guess, fuel taxes are even collected on the cleaner-burning fuel alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel.
Years ago, Minnesota policymakers wisely based state motor fuel taxes on the energy content of each fuel relative to the energy found in gasoline. It might have been bec…

Summer Fuel Prices

Even though snow is lingering in most parts of Minnesota, the nearing end of school year means families have begun to plan summer road trips, visits to the cabin, and taxiing kids to camps, sports, and other activities. Many families will likely keep an eye on the budget, including fuel costs, as they plan their trips. Luckily, we have good resources for this purpose.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. Aside from collecting and analyzing energy data, one of the roles of EIA is to summarize and disseminate that information in reports such as the Annual Energy Outlook and the Short-Term Energy Outlook. These reports help guide policy and the public on energy-related decisions. These outlooks are more than simple predictions; rather, they are forecasts based on accepted assumptions, modeling, and thorough analysis of available data trends.

Earlier this week, the EIA released the Summer Fuels Outlook, and in this summ…

Fuel Retailer Trade Show is a Showcase for Ethanol Blends

Fuel retailers from around the state will gather in Saint Paul’s RiverCentre on April 9-11 for the 2018 Upper Midwest Convenience Store and Energy Convention. Formerly known as the Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Convention and Trade Show, this annual gathering helps people in the fuel and convenience store industry stay current with new products, better understand laws and regulations, and attend workshops and seminars.

It’s not the place where most people would expect to find the American Lung Association in Minnesota, but those in the industry know the Clean Air Choice Team has played an important role in the growth of ethanol blends like E85. For nearly 20 years, the Clean Air Choice Team and their partners and stakeholders have worked closely with both fuel retailers and the general public to increase the use of these locally made, largely renewable fuels. Today, there is a network of more than 350 stations in Minnesota that offer E85.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control A…

Flex Fuel Vehicle History: % Alcohol Content Display

If you're familiar with flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) in the United States today, you may already know how to identify them among gasoline-only models, but it hasn’t always been easy to recognize FFVs. Before the yellow fuel caps, fender badges, and window decals we see on FFVs now, a person had to decipher the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) to know for certain whether it was an FFV.

Some FFV models, specifically the 1996 and 1997 Ford Taurus E85 FFVs, came equipped with another unique identifier: a “PUSH FOR % ALCOHOL” button. On the instrument panel in these vehicles (pictured below), a driver pushed the button and a digital readout appeared in a window at the lower left of the instrument cluster. The FFVs were designed with an in-line sensor that measured an approximate alcohol content of the fuel entering the engine.

For example, if you had E85 in the fuel tank, an "80" blinked for a few moments when you pushed the button. That number represented denatured …

April Fuels Day

Ethanol blends are a cheaper, cleaner option. It's no joke; we're not fooling you!

Ethanol blends are not only less expensive than regular unleaded, they produce fewer tailpipe emissions than conventional gasoline.  If you are one of the many Minnesotans driving a flex fuel vehicle that can use ethanol blends or regular unleaded, there are more than 350 E85 stations located in Minnesota, offering the ethanol based fuel at prices significantly lower than regular unleaded.

Those who own gasoline-powered vehicles made within the past 17 years have an ethanol option now as well. E15 fuel, sometimes known simply as “88 Octane,” is available at a growing number of fuel retailers in Minnesota, and can be used in vehicles that are 2001 or newer. Like E85, it is often priced lower than regular unleaded.

As the weather warms and summer travel season begins in earnest, Minnesotans are fortunate to have some choices at the pump that are better on their pocketbooks and helps to keep our ai…