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Minnesota state agencies boost E85 consumption

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Minnesota state agencies have boosted their purchases of E85 fuel nearly tenfold in the last five years.

      The Department of Administration reported Monday that in the first nine months of 2010, state agencies have purchased nearly 725,000 gallons of E85. That compares with about 73,000 gallons of the 85 percent ethanol-15 percent gasoline blend over the same period in 2005.

      Commissioner of Administration Sheila Reger says nearly one of every five gallons of fuel that state agencies now buy from retailers is E85.

      The fuel is made from corn, and the state has been encouraging its use in official vehicles to boost the rural economy and reduce the use of foreign oil.

      Minnesota state agencies currently operate about 2,500 flex-fuel cars, trucks and vans.

             (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)