Recent Press Releases

Watertown, SD —  Senator John Thune today visited the Sioux Valley Coop in Watertown to fill up on E-20 and discuss methods for providing greater access to ethanol blends like E-20 and E-85 across the country. Senator Thune highlighted his legislation that would provide incentives to gas station owners across the country who install alternative fuel pumps that give consumers cleaner, more diverse, cost-effective options for fueling their vehicles. Photos from Senator Thune's visit will be available on the Senator's web site this afternoon:

"South Dakotans know first-hand the value and potential alternative fuels like ethanol hold for our country's energy future. With 12 existing ethanol plants and five additional plants under construction or being expanded, South Dakota is leading the way in biofuel research and production," Thune said. "Folks in places like Watertown are switching to flex-fuel vehicles (which can run on gasoline or any blend of ethanol up to E-85) and alternative fuels in place of foreign oil, and consumers across the country are beginning to share their mindset. Our nation's automakers have already placed millions of flex-fuel vehicles on the road, and have pledged to make more.

"The missing link? Accessibility. While millions of Americans are driving flex-fuel vehicles, and farmers and ethanol producers are teaming together to produce record volumes of ethanol, unfortunately, too few gas stations offer alternative fuels to consumers. For instance, less than one percent of all gas stations nationwide offer E-85 ethanol.

"For the past two years, I have introduced bipartisan legislation that would provide incentives to gas station owners to install alternative fuel pumps. These incentives would be paid for out of existing revenues that are collected annually from foreign automakers who violate the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard. I have also urged the EPA to prepare for nationwide approval of E-20 for non-flex fuel vehicles as an additional way to lessen our nation's dependence on foreign sources of energy.

"As we fill-up our vehicles with ethanol in Watertown today, I'm hopeful my legislation will make this same option available to consumers across the country in the very near future. I encourage Senate leadership to bring my bill to the Senate floor soon for a vote so alternative fuels like ethanol can become more readily available and we can continue to lessen our dependence on foreign energy."