News: Creating a culture of conservation: MCB Hawaii welcomes state’s first E85 fueling station
Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii - As resource reduction and ecologically friendly products have become more commonplace than trendy, the U.S. military has embraced sustainability and environmental initiatives. Marine Corps Base Hawaii has distinguished itself in these endeavors.
Before a crowd of guests, Col. Robert Rice, base commanding officer, introduced the base’s newest “green” resource, an E85 ethanol fueling station built part of continued expansion of alternative fuel initiatives, Nov. 18, 2010.
“As always, we are excited to lead the way in conservation,” Rice said. “The use of E85 alternative fuel along with 70 flex fuel vehicles, three hybrids and 20 electric carts
will drive MCB Hawaii’s carbon footprint lower and decrease our reliance on imported oil.”
Base leadership had been working to bring the E85 fuel station here for almost five years, so it was exciting to see project finally come to fruition, Rice said.
The E85 station is the first, fully operational pump in the state of Hawaii — military or civilian, said Larry Adams, director of sales and marketing, Aloha Petroleum. Its use supports Headquarters Marine Corps-mandated gasoline reduction goals and the base’s goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption 10 percent. The fuel’s blend, comprised of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, makes use of a sustainable energy resource intended to provide a more environmentally friendly economical alternative to fossil fuels. Unlike gasoline, ethanol can be produced from agricultural feedstock, including sugar cane, potatoes and corn.
“All these products help drive our gasoline usage down and allow us to start moving toward using renewable resources,” Rice said.
Clearly contrasting the other pumps at the base fueling station, the E85 station’s golden yellow platform, lines and handles match the gas cap of the flex fuel vehicles
that will fill up with E85. The station augments the base’s existing fueling capabilities of biofuels and B20 diesel fuels that are already in use in tactical and government vehicles. In addition, the base is near completion of its B20 fueling station.
Visitors to the event examined the array of vehicles parked between the fuel pumps, including a biodiesel tactical vehicle; hybrid, flex fuel, and hydrogen cell cars; and an electric cart. Bulk fuel specialists explained the different types of alternative fuels being used in these vehicles.
“With the E85 station operational, Marine Corps Base Hawaii hopes to help pave the way for wider use of E85 in the state Hawaii and throughout the federal government,” said Cmdr. Robert Michels, base supply officer. “Other federal agencies have inquired about using the station, and we look forward to supporting them.”
The use of ethanol fuel blends in vehicles is one of several resource reduction efforts at MCB Hawaii. In the past year, for example, Rice has helped eliminate plastic bags from the base exchange and replaced plastic foam with biodegradable containers at Anderson Hall Dining Facility.
“Using renewable resources is about national security and energy assurance,” Rice said. “We’re working to created habits in people and make them comfortable with the changing culture.”
This work, Creating a culture of conservation: MCB Hawaii welcomes state’s first E85 fueling station, by Sgt Reece Lodder, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.