The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) celebrated the grand opening of the nation’s 2000th E85 fueling station Thursday in south Florida.
RFA Director of Market Development Robert White says this is a milestone in E85 history. “Being in the Miami metro area promoting E85 shows that this is not a Midwest niche fuel any longer,” White said. “This is a product that can be distributed and sold anywhere in the country and we are able to take E85 where the people and the flex-fuel vehicles are.”
Urbieta Oil owns and operates 12 U-Gas fuel stations in the south Florida area, including the location in Davie which held its grand opening on Thursday. President Edwin Flores says they were the first company to offer E85 in the Miami area in 2007 and they are very committed to renewable fuels. “We think its the right thing to do, not only for our country but for our children’s future,” Flores said. “Fossil fuels are limited and eventually I think we all have to seek alternative fuels.”
Thunderstorms in the area put a little bit of a damper on the grand opening festivities and kept Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson from attending as planned, but in a telephone interview with Domestic Fuel he expressed his pleasure with the progress Florida is making as a leader in renewable fuels. “Florida growers are ready to grow the crops needed for ethanol and biodiesel production,” Bronson said. “We have the capability to produce up to three billion gallons of fuel in the state.”
Increasing the availability of alternative fuels like E85 is part of the Florida Farm to Fuel program, according to Bronson, and having another E85 pump in the state certainly helps. “Gives an opportunity for those with flex-fuel vehicles one more place they can stop in and fill up,” he said.
To celebrate the grand opening, all 12 U Gas locations in south Florida offered E85 for just $1 a gallon between 4 and 6 pm on Thursday.