Senator Flanagan and Town Officials Join With Local Retailer To Unveil Alternative Fuel Access

John J. Flanagan

January 27, 2010

To make it more convenient for those who make the environmentally-friendly decision to purchase alternative-fuel vehicles, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) and Smithtown Council Members Thomas McCarthy and Kevin Malloy recently joined with St. James gas station owners Theresa and Brian Barton for the grand opening of the station’s E-85 fueling station. 

By making this alternative fuel available to area residents, North Country Gas station at 545 Route 25A in St. James is helping provide Smithtown drivers with an alternative to fossil fuels.  The station will become one of only about a dozen on Long Island offering E-85 fuel and help open up the world of alternative fuel to Long Islanders. 

The switch to the alternative fuel was made easier due to the owner’s ability to access significant state funding for the switch under a plan that offers incentives to environmentally-conscious gasoline station owners.  In the case of North Country Gas, that allowed Theresa and Brian Barton to access $28,000 in state funds from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“I saw the New York State grant as a good avenue to expand the station product slate by bringing a "green fuel" to the community and providing a cost savings to the consumer during a tough economy,” stated Mr. Barton.

Councilman Thomas McCarthy, who was helpful to the Bartons in their quest to offer E-85, said, “It was my pleasure to help the Bartons get through the paperwork so that they could access this state money to bring E-85 to our residents.  By bringing this alternative to Smithtown, the Bartons are helping our drivers save money, protect the environment and, because E-85 is American-made, supporting our national economy.  I also thank Senator Flanagan for his efforts in making these grants available on the state level.”

Utilized by flex-fuel vehicles (FFV), E-85 is a motor fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and just 15 percent gasoline according to the Growth Energy web site.  It is an alternative fuel as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy and burns cleaner than gasoline, is completely renewable, domestic and environmentally friendly.

Typically, E85 is priced to be competitive with 87-octane gasoline and should be less expensive than regular unleaded fuel.

This new availability of E-85 will remove one obstacle in the effort to change Long Islanders driving habits and according to Senator Flanagan that is why this opening is so important to our region.

“By providing real accessible alternatives for our drivers, gas stations like North Country Gas are helping all of us reduce our oil consumption.  That was the goal of the state when we offered the incentives to gas station owners and I congratulate Mr. Barton for taking advantage of the program for the good of all Long Islanders,” stated Senator Flanagan.

To date, there are approximately 6 million E-85 compatible vehicles on American roads and as of 2007, there are almost 200,000 FFV's registered in New York that could run on E-85.  Local GM dealers will also help promote the new refueling locations whenever customers purchase flex-fuel vehicles. 

Residents who would like more information on E-85 should click here.

To find out what vehicles utilize this alternative fuel should click here.