Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has unveiled a plan to provide $2 million in tax incentives to fuel retailers who install E-85 ethanol pumps.
According to a press release from the governor’s office, there are only 92 gas stations capable of pumping E-85 out of the more than 4,300 stations in the state. These tax credits would help offset the cost of installing or modifying pumps and tanks to dispense E-85, estimated to cost between $3,000 and $40,000. The proposal comes on the heels of the January 1st E-10 mandate in Missouri:
“We have made several policy changes that make Missouri more energy efficient, environmentally-friendly and a leader in alternative fuel use, such as requiring gasoline to be blended with 10 percent ethanol,” Gov. Blunt said at the Claycomo (near Kansas City) Ford Assembly Plant, home of the Ford Hybrid Escape. “The creation of the Missouri Renewable Fuel Standard was a major step we took to position Missouri as a leader in ethanol production and use, but we can do more. I am proposing we further promote alternative fuel use and better protect our air quality by expanding access to E-85 and provide tax incentives for Missourians who purchase hybrid vehicles.”
The proposal also calls for a $1,500 tax break for those who buy a flex-fuel vehicle, such as the Ford Escape Hybrid, capable of operating on blends of fuel containing as much as E-85. In addition, individuals who buy E-85 could get a $500 a year tax break.
The measure would have to get lawmakers’ approval, and Blunt plans to make it a priority for the coming legislative session that begins next Wednesday (January 9th, 2008).