On Wednesday, Governor Pete Ricketts designated the month of May as Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska during a proclamation ceremony at the State Capitol.
“The biofuels industry has been a key part of growing Nebraska agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts. “Corn-based ethanol and soy biodiesel not only make our air cleaner, but also create jobs, encourage investment in rural communities, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help consumers save their hard-earned dollars when filling up at the pump. Filling up with biofuels is not only a financially smart decision, but it is also an investment in Nebraska and our state’s number one industry.”
Currently, ethanol is blended with 90 percent of all fuel in Nebraska, and this number continues to increase each year. There are over 227,000 flex fuel vehicles in the state, which equates to 1 in 7 Nebraska vehicles. The 25 ethanol plants in Nebraska produced 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol in 2016. The industry directly employs over 1,300 people in the state with an average salary of more than $50,000. The economic strength of Nebraska’s corn and ethanol industry also spills into the livestock sector.
“Nebraska is often referred to as the ‘Golden Triangle,’” said Nebraska Corn Board Chairman David Merrell of St. Edward. “Due to their proximity to each other coupled with Nebraska’s ample resources, our crop, livestock, and ethanol industries are able to thrive. Each of these industries support and strengthen each other. For example, from the ethanol production process, we not only get a renewable fuel, but we also get distillers grains, which are great feed resources for livestock domestically and internationally.”
The biodiesel and livestock industries also work synergistically to benefit Nebraska farmers and ranchers. A healthy biodiesel industry provides nearly $58.5 million a year in aggregate benefits to beef and pork production due to decreased meal expenses and the use of inedible tallow and white grease as a biodiesel feedstock.
“It’s really amazing to see how well our ag sectors work together,” said Nebraska Soybean Board Chairman Tony Johanson of Oakland. “As a farmer, it’s encouraging to see the value biodiesel has added to soybeans. For example, biodiesel adds roughly $0.74 per bushel, and the industry helps support more than 60,000 jobs in the United States.”
Because renewable fuels are produced domestically, they greatly reduce our reliance on imported oil. In 2016, ethanol replaced the need for 540 million barrels of imported crude oil and biodiesel displaced 2.9 billion gallons of imported petroleum diesel.
Renewable Fuels Month has been coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Ethanol Board, and the Nebraska Soybean Board. Several promotional events are being held throughout the month through the organizations’ social media platforms.
Additionally, the corn and ethanol boards are partnering together with ethanol producer Green Plains and Kum & Go at its Gretna location. During this promotion on May 19 from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m., American Ethanol blends will be sold at a steep discount. E15 and E85 will each sell for $0.99 per gallon.