October 14, 2005

In a recent ceremony on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, UK joined the U.S. Department of Energy and the Kentucky Fuels Clean Coalition in celebrating the use of renewable transportation fuels.

The event, held at the UK College of Agriculture Motor Pool, showcased UK’s use of Ethanol and Biodiesel. Across the country, programs like UK’s have led to the reduction of one billion gallons of petroleum use.

UK Interim Provost and College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith participated in the ceremonial pumping of a gallon of E85, an ethanol blend, to help symbolize the net savings nationwide. At UK, a total of 170,000 gallons of ethanol and 55,000 gallons of biodiesel fuels have been used since the program’s inception in 1996.

”By using less oil, UK is doing its part to improve the nation’s energy, economic, and environmental security,” said Smith.

UK College of Agriculture Associate Dean for Research Nancy Cox added, “Utilizing these renewable fuel sources in our motor pool and service vehicles provides us with real-world validation to the advances UK researchers and others are making in this area.”

The displacement, or net savings of, one billion gallons of oil is very significant. The U.S. currently imports approximately two-thirds of the petroleum it uses.  At $68 per barrel, America now spends approximately $300 billion per year for imported petroleum; about $200 billion of this for the transportation sector alone.

“We are spending more than $3.5 billion each week to fuel the economies of other countries when we could be fueling ours by investing in domestic fuels like ethanol or biodiesel,” said Melissa Howell of the KCFC (Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition), of which UK is a member.

The coalition coordinates with the U.S. Department of Energy to build strong, self-sustaining partnerships with industry, stakeholders, fleets, fuel suppliers, and business partners with the goal of decreasing petroleum use. The nation’s 88 coalitions focus on clean fuels, hybrid electric vehicles, fuel blends, heavy-truck idle reduction applications, and general fuel economy improvements to help reduce the nation’s need for imported oil.

Through these efforts, the KCFC has assisted the UK College of Agriculture and other partners across the country to reach the milestone of displacing one billion gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum, enough gas to fuel two million cars for a year.

“By passing the billionth gallon milestone,” said Howell, “leaders like UK have shown they are making a difference on a local level that directly affects the national position. This demonstrates options that work.”

More information on the Beyond a Billion event, and about the KCFC, is available at www.kentuckycleanfuels.org.


Contacts: Carl Nathe, 859-257-1754; Haven Miller, 859-257-4736; Melissa Howell, KCFC, 502-452-9152.