Sweetwater Valley Oil Company first to bring 'green' fuel to
Sweetwater Valley Oil Co. will
hold the grand opening of its two alternative fuel pumps at
the Marathon/Valley Mart #12 convenience store at 1006
Congress Parkway in Athens on Friday at 2 p.m. This will not
only be the first E85 pump in Athens, but also the only
station to offer E85 between Chattanooga and Knoxville along
the I-75 corridor.
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, E85 will be sold at that location
for an introductory price of 85 cents per gallon. B20
biodiesel will be sold for $1.20 per gallon during that time
at that location, as well.
A "green" fuel, E85 is a
cleaner-burning mixture of 85 percent ethanol and gasoline
or other hydrocarbon.
Sweetwater Valley Oil has offered B20 biodiesel for nearly
five years now at another of its Athens stations. While B20
can only be used in diesel engines, E85 can be used in any
gasoline engine with the FlexFuel designation.
"We're excited to be the first
in the area to offer E85," said Shirley Woodcock, Executive
Vice President of Sweetwater Valley Oil. "We want to be
proactive in offering alternative fuels to this area. This
was a big investment, but we felt it was the right thing to
companies get requests from customers for different products
all the time, Sweetwater Valley's request for serving E85
came from a significant source.
"Gov. Phil Bredesen requested
there be an E85 station along the Interstate corridor," said
Woodcock. "We're happy to help the state in any way we can."
Through a collaborative
four-state federal grant, the East Tennessee Clean Fuels
Coalition (ETCFC) obtained $10,000 to help Sweetwater Valley
Oil install the two pumps at the Valley Mart location at the
corner of Congress Parkway and Highway 305.
"It's all about doing the
little things that help our communities collectively make a
fuels transition over the coming decade," said Jonathan
Overly, Executive Director of the ETCFC. "The Athens area
has been using biofuels for several years through several
fleets and that work is thanks to SVO's assistance.
(Sweetwater Valley Oil's) Shirley and Scott (Shankle) are
working to make E85 and B20 available to more Athenians. It
doesn't hurt that, on top of bringing fuel diversity to
Athens they are reducing dependence on foreign oil."
On Friday, Woodcock will have
host Overly and SunsOil president and co-founder Mark Mauss
at the Athens Kiwanis Club's regular meeting. Overly and
Mauss will discuss alternative fuels with the group
assembled, and Woodcock said anyone wishing to learn more
about alternative fuels is welcome to attend the noon
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Overly and Mauss will be at
Valley Mart #12 to do a live radio remote on WJSQ-WLAR
FM-101.7. The two will answer questions about biodiesel and
E85 again during that time.
In addition to running specials on E85 and B20 from 2 to 4,
Woodcock said the Valley Mart will likely run other
specials, as well.
"We look forward to working
with the ETCFC on educating Athenians about E85 and B20 and
trying to help this be just one more step in our being a
major player in helping this community make the changes that
need to be made," said Woodcock. "If the community can't buy
the fuel, then it's that much harder for them to take
action. Now, they have more choices in Athens for their
Reprinted courtesy The
Daily Post Athenian, May 20, 2009