Contact: Phil Oliva, (518) 455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Friday, June 15, 2007

Tedisco Calls On Thruway Authority To Fix E-85 Mess
Access to low-cost alternative fuel months behind schedule at state's 27 Thruway stops

Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady, Saratoga) today called on the Thruway Authority to fast-track the installation of E-85 fuel pumps, and accessibility, at their 27 rest stops. The first E-85 pump at the New Baltimore Thruway Plaza was supposed to be available to the public on October 1, 2006 but nearly nine months later the pump sits dormant with no fuel. Several others were also supposed to be operating by now, including one at the Guilderland Thruway Plaza.

There are approximately 200,000 "flex-fuel" vehicles in New York State that can run on either gasoline or an ethanol fuel known as E-85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline). However, there are only two gas stations that sell E-85 fuel even though the fuel is 55-65 cents cheaper than regular gasoline. The E-85 pump at the Campus Mobil Station on Western Avenue in Albany is currently selling the fuel for $2.59 per gallon. The owner of that station and the other E-85 pump in Warrensburg received a waiver from the state Department of State to avoid getting dispensers certified by Underwriters Laboratories. The Thruway Authority decided late to seek the certification even though ethanol operations in almost every other state have decided against getting it.

Tedisco has asked the Thruway Authority to get the waiver and to produce a new timeline for when each of the 27 Thruway stops will have their E-85 fuel pumps up and running and available to the public.

"Motorists are getting killed with rising gas prices and government bureaucrats are fiddling," said Tedisco. "Fast-tracking the E-85 fuel pump installation at the 27 Thruway stops will provide relief. Not only will owners of flex-fuel vehicles save $10-$12 per fill-up, but the decrease in demand for regular gasoline will cause that price to drop as well. This is far from a cure-all but it is one piece of the puzzle and the piece needs to be set in place."

Tedisco would also like to see gas taxes reduced and brought in line with the Northeast states' average. That would save 13 cents per gallon. He also has a bill that would use the remaining undedicated sales tax revenue to create an "Alternative Fuel Incentive Fund" that would provide tax credits, grants and other incentives to encourage the usage and delivery of alternative fuels and vehicles.

"A greater reliance on home-grown alternative fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel will mean less dependence on foreign oil. It will also mean lower fuel costs, stronger national security, stronger environment and more agricultural and manufacturing jobs," said Tedisco.

New York State Assembly
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