May is Clean Air Month, a topic that is very important to the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALA-IL). Many people are aware of the ALA-IL’s involvement in cleaning the air of unhealthy cigarette smoke, but ALA-IL is also involved in the use of biofuels as a Clean Air Choice. One of our areas of focus is the promotion of the use of E85 fuel – a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline – which is a cleaner-burning and renewable alternative to petroleum gasoline.

The use of E85 and purchasing of Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) are a significant source for clean air in Illinois as a single car can prevent 4 tons of CO2 as well as other harmful pollutants from entering the air we breathe. With over 9 million FFVs on the road in the U.S. today, this has the potential for a major clean air improvement. Production of E85 also sustains jobs in Illinois as we are the 2nd leading producer of ethanol in the country, with over 470 million gallons of ethanol being used for fuel each year.

How is the ALA-IL promoting E85 and FFVs? In the year 2010, the ALA-IL assisted in the funding of constructing 12 E85 pumps throughout Illinois. With “The Obama Administration looking to add 10,000 so-called ‘blender pumps’ over the next five years to the inventory of about 2,350 pumps that can distribute E85,” (Auto Observer) the ALA-IL plans to stay involved in this infrastructure program for years to come. Additionally, the ALA-IL has been running a Flex-Fuel Vehicle Dealership Development Program throughout Illinois since mid-2010. This program has aided in the sale of nearly 700 FFVs in Illinois in less than a year and has expanded consumer education on the topic of E85 fuel.  Also, be sure to check out our E85 Coupon Program website to learn more about our programs and for an opportunity to request a $10 E85 coupon for use at any of the over 150 participating stations in Illinois.

So the next time you think of the American Lung Association in Illinois, think clean air through E85 fuel.

Crystal Bolliger
Environmental Programs Coordinator
American Lung Association in Illinois

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