"It's good for America..."
Oregon corn farmer Dave Bateman recently purchased a flexible fuel vehicle for one purpose, to use E-85. Right now, E-85 is about 70 cents cheaper a gallon than regular, unleaded gasoline.
"I grow corn, so that's one of the things I believe in using the product that we grow. It's a clean fuel, and I think we should use more of it, particularly given the energy crisis that we're in," says Bateman.
Senator Durbin says the recently passed senate energy bill makes a commitment to dramatically expanding the use of E-85 in the U.S.
"It sets new goals for production and use of Ethanol. The goal in the Senate is 8 billion gallons a year, the house is 5 billion gallons," says Senator Durbin.
Illinois ranks second in the nation in corn production and is the nation's leading source of clean-burning ethanol. Increased use of ethanol fuel would mean bushels of money for our farmers, and the state.
"Our farmers depend on demand for corn. More demand means higher prices, and less reliance of government subsidies," says Durbin.
Durbin says a domestic source of energy will lesson our dependence on foreign oil which he says is more important now than ever before.
"We just don't want to have future generations walking hand in hand with these Saudi oil sheiks--the more independent we become, the stronger we are as a nation," says Durbin.
And the non-toxic fuel is environmentally friendly, reducing harmful emissions.
"E-85 is less gasoline, so it's good for the environment, and lung health," says Angela Tin of American Lung Association.
The bill is expected to emerge from the House/Senate Conference Committee later this summer.
To find out if your vehicle can run on E-85 visit the Illinois Corngrowers website at www.ilcorn.org.
There are more than 60 E-85 facilities in Illinois.