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Fuel with 15 percent ethanol available in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A new blend of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol is available in North Dakota.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and members of the state's agriculture and ethanol industries announced the introduction of E15 blended gasoline on Monday in Bismarck. The fuel is available at six Petro Serve USA locations in Bismarck, Mandan, West Fargo and Fargo, officials said.

Most ethanol fuel sold for passenger vehicles is 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol. The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved the use of E15 in vehicles made since 2001.

The North Dakota Ethanol Council said E15 costs 3 percent to 5 percent less than unleaded gasoline. Motorists using E15 may see a loss of less than 2 percent in miles per gallon, the Bismarck-based trade group said.

Pumps dispensing E15 must be clearly labeled. The fuel is not approved for older vehicles, boats, lawnmowers and other small engines.

Dalrymple said North Dakota is the ninth state to offer E15.

North Dakota has four ethanol plants that employ about 200 people. Dalrymple said the ethanol industry contributes more than $640 million annually to North Dakota's economy.

"Ethanol creates North Dakota jobs," Dalrymple said in a statement. "It's good for the environment, it's good for our farmers and it's good for the country.

North Dakota's ethanol production has risen from about 30 million gallons annually in 2005 to more than 377 million gallons at present, state records show.