ST. PAUL - Minnesota state government agencies have increased their retail purchases of E-85 nearly 10-fold in five years, according to the state's Department of Administration. In the first nine months of 2010, agencies have purchased nearly 725,000 gallons of E-85, compared to about 73,000 gallons over the same period in 2005. 

"Nearly one of every five gallons of fuel that state agencies buy from retailers today is E-85," said Commissioner of Administration Sheila Reger. "That's a remarkable increase from just five years ago that is helping state government reduce its dependence on petroleum fuels." 

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson said the report underscores the state's long-term commitment to renewable energy. 

"Using E-85 helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil and boosts economic activity for greater Minnesota," said Hugoson. "It's great to see state employees and other Minnesotans choosing homegrown, renewable fuels." 

Minnesota is also nearing 1 million gallons in annual E-85 use. In 2009, state agencies bought almost 817,000 gallons of E-85, compared to 97,000 gallons in 2005. Gasoline purchases have declined nearly 10 percent over that period. 

State agencies currently operate about 2,500 flex-fuel cars, pickup trucks and vans.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet