Fuel Choice Benefits Wallet, Health & State

Op/Ed piece from Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator:

Todd Sneller

May 2, 2018 – Many consumers felt their wallets lighten as the numbers ticked up on the gas pump again this week. AAA reports the national gas price average for May 1 reached $2.81, the highest price per gallon since November 2014.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts the national average price for a gallon of regular gas at retail pumps between April and September will be $2.74, up from an average of $2.41 last summer. That means we are spending 13 percent more money on fuel compared to this time last year.

Motorists, who drive gasoline or diesel vehicles, have a choice of biofuels that significantly reduce pollutants. Biodiesel and ethanol-blended fuels, especially higher blends like E15, E30 and E85, significantly reduce toxic emissions from gasoline and diesel. These biofuel choices give consumers the option of paying less at the pump, while reducing pollution that takes a toll on our health and the environment.

Each time a Nebraska motorist pulls up to a pump, they make a choice. Choosing the ethanol option is easy and economical. Nebraska has no petroleum refining capability so every gallon of gasoline must be imported, which means money leaving our local economy. Motorists and policymakers can reduce this economic drain by displacing a portion of the imported gasoline with cleaner-burning biofuels made at Nebraska production facilities from corn grown in the state. Voting for biofuels at the pump is a logical and practical decision for motorists and policymakers alike.

Several Nebraska fuel stations currently offer a 75-cent spread between regular unleaded (10 percent ethanol) and E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent regular unleaded). Flex fuel vehicle drivers using E85 can save as much as $10 on every tank of fuel. E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) is typically priced 5 to 10 cents lower than E10 and is approved for all passenger vehicles model year 2001 and newer. These savings mean millions of dollars retained in Nebraska’s economy and in consumer pockets.

When we choose renewable biofuels at the pump, we save money and support a homegrown fuel generating as much as $5 billion for the state’s economy. Nebraska-produced biofuels are cost-effective, American-made, renewable, and better for our environment.