Showing posts from June, 2018

Journey Through Minnesota State Parks on E85

September of 2016 started a new and exciting challenge for my husband and me. While visiting family on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, we decided to add in a weekend of camping so we booked two nights at the Minnesota Saint Croix State Park. We tent camped, hiked, and even survived an intense thunderstorm, but while preparing to canoe on the St. Croix River one afternoon, we realized we’d forgotten canoe paddles! A visit to the park’s gift shop and boat rental office quickly solved our problem. It was there where we discovered the MN State Parks Passport Club and where the real journey began.

Currently there are 77 parks and recreation areas to visit and the goal for Passport Club participants is to collect a passport stamp at every one of those 77 sites. After the fun weekend at Saint Croix, our meandering trip south toward Saint Paul took us past five more parks. Born out of that discovery was the challenge to complete the passport in one year.

Minnesota is unique in that it has so m…

A Little Bit of Bushmills

At start up in late 2005, the Bushmills Ethanol biorefinery of Atwater, Minnesota was designed with an annual production capacity of 40 million gallons of fuel ethanol. Efficiency improvements over the years since allow Bushmills to now convert about 25 million bushels of field corn into 65 million gallons of ethanol every year‒in addition to more than 164,000 tons of high-value livestock feed.

Bushmills is currently undergoing an expansion that will ultimately allow the company and its 400 farmer-owners to produce 100 million gallons, which represents an impressive 50% increase to the plant’s annual capacity.

If you drive across west-central Minnesota along U.S. Highway 12 and stop to fuel up with E15 or one of the flex fuels, such as E85 or E30, you’ll likely be purchasing gallons made with Bushmills’ locally-grown, renewable-based ethanol. That's because Bushmills is one of several Minnesota ethanol plants offering direct fuel supply to retail station partners.

Bushmills provide…

Welcome to the Biofuels Family!

In the last few weeks, at least seven new stations have been added to our retailer directory, including stations in Delano, Forest Lake, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Stacy, White Bear Lake, and Winona. All of these new additions offer E15, with two also offering higher ethanol blends like E30 and E85. It's a great time to check our station list again for your closest options.

The newest station opening is Winner Gas located at 3333 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. This station joins four other Winner Gas stations in the metro area now offering FlexFuels!

When you're traveling in the metro and see a Winner station, their price sign will indicate whether they have ethanol blends. If you see the E85 logo, stop in to fuel up your flex fuel vehicle and check out the new dispensers!

In the Heart of the Oil Patch

Watford City, North Dakota is a great little place. It’s been my good fortune to travel there many times over the last 30 years to visit family. Unlike most small places, Watford City has often been featured in the national news in recent years during the last oil boom when its population of 1,500 exploded to 7,000 (or more). In the county seat of McKenzie County, Watford Citians found their way of life thrust into the hurricane that was the “Bakken Oil Play”‒ Watford City is in the heart of the western North Dakota oil patch.

For years I've been stopping by the local Kum & Go station, located at Main Street and the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway. Their coffee has saved me many times while I’ve stayed with non-coffee-drinking relatives. But mostly I stop there because Kum & Go sells E85 fuel for flex fuel vehicles (FFVs).

When the company remodeled the station in the midst of all the craziness that is an oil boom town, I figured E85 would get lost in the hubbub and dropped …

The Other Price of Oil

You may have heard about the recent gasoline spill in Ely, Minnesota.  Workers at a local service station, investigating what they first thought was a small spill, were shocked to discover that nearly 5,000 gallons of gasoline had escaped into the ground. Some of the fuel has made its way into the city’s storm sewer system and a nearby lake.  While crews try to assess the situation and prevent further damage, spills such as this can have lasting (and expensive) consequences.

One example can be found in our neighboring state of North Dakota, which is a major petroleum producing state. A leak of a crude oil pipeline in the northwestern part of the state has resulted in a cleanup that has lasted five years and has cost the oil company an estimated $93 million.

Closer to home, the City of Blaine has been forced to shut down several of its wells because of gasoline contamination in the groundwater. The original source of the gasoline is unknown, but it likely goes back to days when inspect…