Iowans know that ethanol is the greener, eco-friendly choice at the gas pump. Now during October, E15 ethanol fuel is also the pink choice at the pump.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is partnering with fuel retailers across the state to promote the “Pink at the Pump” fundraising campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
From now until Oct. 31, participating retailers will donate 3 cents for every one gallon of E15 sold. The donations will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Hormel Institute.
Last year, the event raised $12,000 for breast cancer research. And this year, more retailers — 33 retailers in total — are joining the campaign and going pink at the pump, says Lucy Norton with the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
And when the retailers say “Pink at the Pump,” they mean it. The E15 pumps at participating gas stations will feature pink nozzles and signage at the gas pump.
Norton says the fundraiser was so successful last year that retailer Murphy USA, which has seven Iowa stores, is expanding the promotion to all of its locations nationwide.
“The employees (at Murphy USA) went all in. They wore pink shirts, pink wigs, pink mustaches,” Norton says. “They see it as a worthwhile cause."
Several retailers are also planning special events to discount E15 for a day and give out “Pink at the Pump” T-shirts to customers who fuel up with E15.
“It helps introduce E15 to customers, because we think once they try it, they are going to continue to use it. It’s going to be their fuel of choice,” Norton says.
E15 is a new fuel option made of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent petroleum. It’s typically priced less than regular gasoline and E10, the common 10 percent ethanol blend you see at gas stations here in Iowa. E15 is approved for all 2001 and newer vehicles, or about 90 percent of the cars on the road.
“It’s higher in octane, so your vehicle will perform better, (with) better engine performance. And then it also is a healthier fuel. So less emissions coming out of the tailpipe, less greenhouse gases, less cancer-causing chemicals," Norton says.
“There have been over 1 billion miles driven on E15, and there’s never been a reported issue,” Norton adds.
More than 127 retailers now offer E15, and many more E15 locations will open this fall, Norton says. Iowa retailers Kum & Go, Casey’s and Kwik Star have added E15 pumps to several of their locations.
For a list of "Pink at the Pump" E15 locations near you, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s website at www.iowarfa.org.