Drop in foreign oil prices resulting in drop in ethanol sales

Gas prices continue to fall across the U.S. as drivers head out for the Fourth of July weekend. The fall in the price of foreign oil means sales of ethanol, or E-85, have dropped. Minnesota has more E-85 gas stations than any other state.

Ralph Goschen with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said the use of E-85 is tied to the price of regular gasoline. When gas prices rise E-85 becomes more competitive.

"The state of Minnesota has been 10 percent ethanol in all its gas since virtually 1997," Goschen said. "I think since then, Minnesota has been able to focus more attention on E-85. The Legislature and the industry have pushed to develop E-85 as another way to deliver ethanol into the marketplace."

Goschen said Minnesota needs to continue to develop more alternative fuels.

"There's no perfect fuel, least of all petroleum or gasoline or diesel fuel," he said. "We should try to remember if we back away from things like ethanol and biodiesel, even though they're not perfect, the only current option is what created a tremendous transfer of wealth out of the U.S. and to the Middle East."

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