Waste Beer Ethanol to Fuel Democratic Convention Motorpool

DENVER, Colorado, May 22, 2008 (ENS) – The flex-fuel vehicles at this summer’s Democratic National Convention will be running on waste beer, thanks to the Molson Coors Brewing Company.

Molson Coors, along with its U.S. subsidiary, Coors Brewing Company, will be the Official E85 Ethanol Producer for the convention, which is set for August 25 through 28 in Denver.

Molson Coors is donating all the clean-burning ethanol fuel for the fleet of 400 General Motors flex-fuel vehicles to be used for the convention’s transportation needs. The fleet will be for the use of U.S. House and Senate Leadership, DNC officials and state party chairs, delegates, staff, and members of the media.

The latest model of GM’s Chevy Express
is a flex-fuel van that runs on E85.
(Photo courtesy GM)

All the buses and motorpool vehicles are flex-fuel, hybrids or run on biofuel, the DNC Host Committee says.

No one will be going hungry because ethanol is fueling the motorpool. Coors’ ethanol is not the corn-based variety – it is made from waste beer generated at the Golden, Colorado, brewery, which now produces about three million gallons annually.

Coors is the first major U.S. brewer to convert its waste beer into ethanol. Since 1996, Coors has been recycling waste beer, which the company says is beer lost during packaging or deemed below quality standards, and converting it to alcohol automotive fuel.

The company says production of ethanol from waste beer also helps it eliminate about 70 tons of harmful volatile organic compounds from its air emissions annually.

Molson Coors CEO Leo Kiely said, “We are pleased that our waste beer can fuel the convention fleet and help support an environmentally conscious convention.”

“Bill Coors used to say that waste was a resource out of place,” Kiely quoted, adding, “that thinking still drives us today to recycle, reuse and reduce our consumption of energy and materials when and where we can. Minimizing our impact on the environment is the right thing to do and it’s good for our business.”

“From fueling a national conversation about sustainability to fueling convention vehicles, we’re working toward a green convention on every front,” said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

“This flex-fuel initiative highlights Colorado’s historic status as an energy and beer capital as well as its reputation for environmental and economic innovation,” said the mayor.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat, applauded the company for turning waste beer into fuel, saying, “The upcoming convention will be the perfect opportunity to showcase Colorado’s accomplishments in developing advanced renewable fuels.”

General Motors has pledged that half of the vehicles it produces by 2012 will be flex-fuel capable, and two million flex-fuel vehicles are now on the road. The company currently has 11 flex-fuel models for 2008, and more than 15 planned for 2009.

GM North America President Troy Clarke said in February, “We will continue to make more of our lineup flex-fuel capable because we believe ethanol, and specifically E85, is the best near-term answer to reduce our nation’s dependence on oil as energy demand rises here and around the world.”

Clarke said, “The focus needs to be on making E85 more available by developing cellulosic ethanol sources and dramatically increasing the number of stations that offer E85.”

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