E85 Gas Pumps Pass 1,800 Mark, Still Can't Find One In Sarah Palin's AlaskaA new report shows the number of E85 ethanol pumps in the U.S. has grown nearly 28% in the past year, surpassing the 1,800 mark with 1,693 available for public use. The states with the most E85 pumps are, as you'd expect, in the corn belt, including Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri. Just don't expect to find them in every corner of the country: Despite the growth in E85 availability, seven states still don't have any E85 pumps, including Alaska. Considering E85 expansion is part of our current national energy policy, it makes us wonder if Governor Palin should revise her favorite chant to "distill, baby, distill." But, of course, the problem with ethanol remains one of economics rather than availability. E85 costs about 18% less nationwide than a gallon of gasoline despite containing 23-28% less energy. When the cost to grow, process, distill and transport that ethanol is taken into account, the math just doesn't work out in favor of corn likker . But we are glad our farmer friends are finally able to afford those new Sea Rays. [Green Car Congress; Image Credit: EPA]