E85 filling station is 30 miles away.
J.K. Wall - Indianapolis Star - August 22, 2006
Reynolds, Indiana and its citizenry in BioTown USA with no biofuel to be found anywhere?
REYNOLDS, Ind. - It's been nearly a year since Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels dubbed this tiny community "BioTown USA" in an effort to spark an energy revolution and change the way Hoosiers power their cars, homes and lives.
Daniels' goal was to make the community of 550 run entirely on renewable energy sources, turning corn into ethanol that would fuel cars and converting methane gas produced from the town sewers and hog farms into electricity for homes and businesses.
Locals have since bought 135 ethanol-burning cars, but no gas station supplies the fuel. The town's lone station, which is being sold, has begun work to add the necessary pumps and tanks for ethanol and biodiesel.
The nearest E85 pump is roughly 30 miles away. Efforts to put an E85 pump at the BP station, Reynolds' only fueling center, repeatedly stalled.
Station owner John Harris had said it would have cost $500,000 to $700,000 to alter his station to include ethanol and biodiesel pumps. Reynolds, 80 miles northwest of Indianpolis, faces the same chicken-or-egg question confronting the nation as it tries to reduce its dependence on oil: Which comes first: Widespread supply of a new fuel product or strong consumer demand for it?
Still, investors are pouring millions into Indiana to build up to a dozen plants that will turn the state's corn into ethanol. Farmers hope all those plants are a boon to agriculture.
But a trip to BioTown shows there are miles to go before it's possible to know whether ethanol will play a leading role in curing what President George W. Bush called the nation's addiction to oil.
Right now, about 750 of 167,000 stations nationwide offer E85, a mixture of ethanol and 15% gasoline.
Ethanol, originally marketed as a cheap alternative to gasoline, has not achieved that goal, trading at 50 cents a gallon more than gasoline on futures markets. The price has spiked as oil companies use more of it to mix with gasoline to meet strict environmental requirements in coastal cities.
In spite of the price, folks in BioTown support using E85.