Contact: Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162
Renews His Call for Legislature to Pass Ethanol Bill
and Greater Energy Independence for Wisconsin
Governor Jim Doyle today issued an Executive Order that expands the state’s commitment to renewable fuels, takes an important step forward in making Wisconsin the nation’s ethanol leader, and increases the state’s independence from foreign oil.
The Executive Order requires all state agencies to reduce the use of petroleum-based gasoline in the state’s vehicle fleet by 20 percent by 2010 and by 50 percent by 2015, and reduce the use of petroleum-based diesel fuel by those vehicles 10 percent by 2010 and 25 percent by 2015. To do this, vehicles will be filled with ethanol blend gasoline, E-10, E-85, or biodiesel as much as possible.
“Wisconsin families struggling to pay their heating bills or fill up their gas tanks this winter have learned a hard less about just how costly our dependence on foreign oil can be,” Governor Doyle said. “Increasing our use of ethanol and biodiesel will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, help our environment and agriculture industry, and will create more high-paying and family-supporting jobs in Wisconsin.”
The state purchases more than 1.6 million gallons of fuel every year, 8 percent of which is currently ethanol. While there are price fluctuations in all blends of gasoline – E85 is generally between $.11 and $.50 cheaper than regular unleaded blend.
To help implement the order, the Department of Administration will also develop an awareness campaign designed to ensure all flex fuel vehicles in the state’s fleet are clearly identified and state employees are aware of where E85 refueling stations are.
Governor Doyle also directed Department of Administration Secretary Steve Bablitch and Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Rod Nilsestuen to look into how the state can attract more E85 pumps, making the use of this fuel even more convenient for state employees and the general public.
“For every dollar we spend at the gas pump, seventy cents leaves the Wisconsin economy,” Governor Doyle said. “But for every dollar we spend on ethanol, seventy cents stays right here in Wisconsin – and that’s good news for the hardworking farmers all across this state.”
Governor Doyle also renewed his call for the passage of the E10 Bill authored by Senator Harsdorf and Representatives Freese and Gronemus that has stalled in the Legislature.
“Support for ethanol is widespread – unfortunately, so far, widespread support hasn’t translated into widespread action here in Wisconsin,” Governor Doyle said. “The Legislature should follow the advice of countless Wisconsin farmers, energy experts, and even President Bush – invest in ethanol, and do it now. We can reduce our reliance on foreign oil, while helping our environment and our economy.