Sunshine State Ethanol Talk

Cindy Zimmerman

Couple of ethanol news items from Florida.

First, Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson mixed ethanol with strawberries at the annual Strawberry Salute Breakfast Monday, calling on the state’s agricultural community to become a leader in ethanol production.  According to this story in the Lakeland Ledger, Bronson talked up a new biofuels process developed by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) that can make ethanol, a synthetic fuel, from agricultural waste products. I had been saving the press release about that process, which was actually sent out in May of last year, meaning to do a story about it someday.  And I will.  But, meantime, here’s the link so you can read it yourself. 

 Next, there is a reason why the Cross Country kids are heading through the middle of the US rather than going south – there’s no E85 stations in Florida.  The Miami Herald did a feature on ethanol Sunday which noted that E85 is not even approved for sale in Florida yet, but is expected to be soon.  This is interesting because the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – which is run by Commissioner Bronson – is the agency that regulates gasoline sales in the state.  According to the article, Matthew Curran, chief of petroleum inspection for the Florida Department of Agriculture, which oversees fuel standards, said that as early as next month new rules that would allow the sale of E85 in the state could be in place. ”The department is trying to take a proactive stance,” he said.