Today, Governor Pete Ricketts celebrated Renewable Fuels Month during a ribbon cutting event at Bosselman Travel Center in Grand Island. At the event, Governor Ricketts pumped gas for motorists, highlighting the new flex fuel pumps now offering a variety of ethanol blends at Bosselman Travel Center.
“Corn ethanol and soy biodiesel not only help build demand for Nebraska’s crop farmers, but they also help build our state’s economy and create local jobs,” said Governor Ricketts. “Just this week, I visited with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue about the importance of higher ethanol blends, and I will continue to encourage the Trump administration to act quickly on the approval of the use of E-15 all year long. With infrastructure like the pumps we just launched in Grand Island, we will continue to grow demand for our locally-produced, clean-burning ethanol products.”
Governor Ricketts has been a constant advocate for Nebraska’s biofuel industry. He has served as chairman of the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition, testified before the Environmental Protection Agency in support of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) twice, and successfully worked to recruit new investment in the state’s biofuels infrastructure and industry.
Over 90 percent of all fuel in Nebraska is blended with locally-produced ethanol. This homegrown industry supports over 1,300 jobs across the state and 25 ethanol plants. The ethanol industry promotes higher prices for corn, soybeans, and other agricultural products as well, supporting the agriculture industry at large. In 2017, over 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol and nearly 6.4 million metric tons of distillers grains were produced in Nebraska.
With more than 1 billion gallons being produced across the country, soy biodiesel is another important biofuel for Nebraska. Like ethanol, biodiesel burns cleaner than petroleum diesel, is locally produced, and helps our nation’s farmers. Biodiesel adds $0.74 per bushel to the value of soybeans, and the industry supports more than 60,000 U.S. jobs and $2.6 billion in wages.
“Nebraska’s ethanol industry is really a win for everyone,” said Dave Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from St. Edward. “By using ethanol, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting cancer-causing toxic chemicals from entering into our atmosphere, which makes our air cleaner to breathe. Additionally, we produce a locally-grown feed for our livestock industry.”
“Bosselman Enterprises is among several key marketing partners working with Nebraska biofuel producers to offer a wider range of cleaner-burning fuel products,” said Jan tenBensel, chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “This new infrastructure provides greater access to high performance renewable fuels at a lower cost to consumers. Consumers save money at the pump, the agricultural sector benefits from increased demand for ag products, our economy benefits from fuel cost savings, and we have more choices at the pump.”
“As a Nebraska farmer, I feel a great amount of pride in the work we all do to provide our world with a safe and abundant supply of food, fuel, and fiber,” said Tony Johanson, chairman of the Nebraska Soybean Board and farmer from Oakland. “We know we need to ensure the sustainability of our planet, but how sustainable are we if we are burning fossil fuels? By producing and using renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, we were able to replace the need for 540 million barrels of imported crude oil and 2.9 million gallons of imported petroleum diesel in 2017. That is significant.”
Information and photo provided by Gov. Pete Ricketts Office.