LINCOLN, NEBRASKA — High octane, less expensive, locally produced, renewable – no matter the reason, Nebraska motor fuel sales show that drivers continue to choose ethanol-blended gasoline.
According to the Nebraska Department of Revenue Motor Fuels Division, in the last 37 years more than 13 billion gallons of ethanol have been sold in the Nebraska fuel market.
Ethanol has gained a steady market acceptance in Nebraska, starting in 1978 with just 1/10 of a percent of Nebraska gasoline blended with ethanol. In 2015, 85 percent of Nebraska gasoline contained ethanol, and currently about 90 percent of the nation’s fuel includes ethanol.
“Ethanol has been part of our fuel supply for almost 40 years,” said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “Given the choice, consumers purchase homegrown, renewable ethanol that is less expensive and burns cleaner.”
Nebraska has more than 80 fuel pumps around the state that dispense blends higher than E10 including E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline).
About one in seven Nebraskans are driving a flex fuel vehicle that can operate on any blend of ethanol and gasoline up to E85. In 2001, EPA approved E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) for use in light-duty cars, pickups and SUVs model 2001 and newer.
“More fuel retailers are starting to sell E15 and higher blends of ethanol in Nebraska and nationwide,” Sneller said. “Approximately 80 percent of cars, trucks and SUVs on the road today are approved to use E15, and with pollution mitigation efforts underway in large cities, we’ll continue to see more ethanol blended in our fuel.”
In 2015, the use of ethanol in gasoline reduced greenhouse gas emissions on our roads and highways by 41.2 million metric tons. That’s equivalent to removing 8.7 million cars from the road, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.
Nebraska is the nation’s second-largest producer of ethanol with 25 plants. According to a recent University of Nebraska-Lincoln study, the ethanol industry has a $5 billion annual economic impact on the state.