Members of the US Congress have long been supporting the corn ethanol business by transferring our tax dollars to agri-businesses like ADM and Monsanto. Now they will finally have the opportunity to actually use E85 with the opening of the first pumps dispensing the biofuel in Washington DC. Ethanol producer VeraSun Energy is now supplying fuel to two stations in DC and in Arlington, VA near the Pentagon. In addition the main Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch on Vermont Ave. in Washington the company will be fueling the fifty GM flex-fuel vehicles in their fleet with E85 from the Georgetown Chevron station.
VeraSun and General Motors Bring First E85 Fueling Location to Nation's Capital
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Collaborating with Leading Ethanol Producer and World's Largest Automaker; Offering Flexible Fuel Vehicles Near Retail Station
WASHINGTON, June 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VeraSun Energy Corporation (NYSE:VSE) , one of the nation's largest ethanol producers, today announced the opening of the first E85 retail fueling location in Washington, D.C. The opening was the result of an ongoing collaborative effort between VeraSun and General Motors to expand the availability and consumer awareness of E85.
VeraSun's branded VE85(TM), a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline is now available at the Georgetown Chevron, located at 2450 Wisconsin Ave. N.W., and in Arlington, Va., at the Navy Exchange station near the Pentagon. The addition of two retail fueling locations increases the number of stations selling VE85(TM) to more than 90 in nine states and the District of Columbia.
"This partnership exemplifies the efforts being made to improve the availability of E85 in our nation," said Don Endres, VeraSun's Chairman and CEO. "E85 has been available throughout the Midwest for years, and many of us have used it almost exclusively to fuel our vehicles. We are pleased to have worked collaboratively with our partners to bring VE85(TM) to the D.C. metro area so that drivers in our nation's capital may experience this clean, high-octane product which strengthens our energy independence and helps our environment by reducing both greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions."
Today's announcement marks the fifth collaboration VeraSun and GM have entered with a third-party retailer since the companies began working together to expand availability and increase the awareness of VE85(TM). The first initiative, launched in May 2005 with pilot stations in Sioux Falls, S.D., has expanded to include locations in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Pittsburgh.
"At GM, we believe that renewable fuels like E85 give us the greatest near-term potential to actually reduce gasoline consumption and vehicle emissions," said Elizabeth Lowery, GM vice president of environment, energy and safety policy. "That's why GM is committed to working with our partners at VeraSun Energy to increase the availability of VE85(TM) to consumers."
Enterprise Rent-A-Car joined VeraSun and GM on this initiative by announcing that it is designating its premier rental location in Washington, D.C., as an official "E85/FlexFuel branch." Owning the world's largest fleet of FlexFuel Vehicles, with more than 41,000 cars and trucks, Enterprise is committing to fueling 50 GM FlexFuel vehicles from its location at 1029 Vermont Ave. N.W., at the Georgetown Chevron. The vehicles will also be stocked with materials about VE85(TM) and directions to the fueling location.
"It's a privilege for us to work with VeraSun Energy to make it easier for our customers to make sustainable choices," said Matthew G. Darrah, Enterprise Rent-A-Car senior vice president of North American operations. "We hope the commitment we've made today sends a strong signal that, as alternative fuels like VE85(TM) become commercially viable, we'll not only be first in line to use them, we will encourage our customers to use them, as well."
"An important part of the energy bill the Senate just passed is a title that promotes the production, distribution and use of clean, renewable, made-in-America transportation fuels, like E85," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. "For our nation to become more energy self-reliant, we have to start using transportation fuels other than imported oil. I appreciate VeraSun's initiative in opening the first E85 retail fueling station in our nation's capital, and I hope this venture will pave the way for greater use of biofuels throughout the Mid-Atlantic."
Owned by Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Properties, the Georgetown Chevron location marks a significant accomplishment for the fuel retailer in offering E85 at the first of its 23 company- operated locations in the Washington, D.C. metro area. On Friday, June 29, the Georgetown Chevron location will sell E85 for 185 minutes to FlexFuel vehicle owners for 85 cents per gallon. The promotion will last from 11 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. E.D.T.
"Mid-Atlantic is proud to be the first retail chain in Washington D.C. to offer its customers E85 and, in particular, VeraSun's branded E85, VE85(TM)," said Carlos Horcasitas, Chairman and CEO of Mid-Atlantic. "This is a very important step in educating our customers on the benefits of E85 and offering them the choice of a renewable, home-grown product that promotes a cleaner environment."
Representatives from the District, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were also on hand to make the announcement.