Originally published by the Nebraska Energy Office on January 9, 2019.
LINCOLN — 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 represents a $5 billion economic impact to Nebraska.
In 2016, the Nebraska Energy Office, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Department of Agriculture and several Nebraska ethanol plants funded 88 new advanced “blender pumps” and seven underground storage tanks. The equipment was installed at 22 retail fueling locations throughout the state. A blender pump draws two fuels from separate storage tanks and mixes them together in various percentages to form an unlimited variety of fuel choices for the station’s customers. Most often, the blends are E15, E35, E85 and regular unleaded.
Governor Ricketts stated, “Over the summer, I have been traveling the state to highlight the availability of new flex fuel infrastructure. In the past couple of years, my team and the Nebraska Energy Office has been working with the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Ethanol Board to install more flex fuel pumps in communities across the state. As new fuel choices are offered at more retail locations, consumers become better acquainted with these options and the lower prices. These new pumps will distribute thousands of gallons of biofuels to the many travelers crossing our state.”
The mission of the program is to help facilitate the availability of higher ethanol blended gasoline to the traveling public. The final blender pump supported by this program was installed on December 21, 2018 at the TimeSaver Station No. 3 in North Platte, Nebraska. This program has doubled the number of pumps throughout the state that may be used to dispense higher ethanol blended gasoline to consumers, enabling drivers in Nebraska to use increasing volumes of Nebraska ethanol.
“This has been a collaborative effort that will serve Nebraskans well into the future,” said Nebraska Energy Office Interim Director, Jim Macy. “It is really rewarding to see so many organizations step forward and support this effort”.
Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator, Sarah Caswell, said that the Nebraska Energy Office “has done a tremendous job administering this program and helping to ensure that funding got to retailers throughout the state.”
“The fact that retail stations in Nebraska with such blender pumps has doubled since the inception of the program shows that, with the right information and resources, there is a high level of interest among retailers in offering higher blends of ethanol to consumers,” Caswell said.
“That increased availability helps further bolster the economic impact of ethanol on the state’s economy, thereby supporting farmers, ethanol plants and local economies. The more ethanol Nebraskans consume, the cleaner our air and stronger our economy will be across the state. The success of this program is a real win-win for Nebraska.”
Retailers participating in the Access Ethanol Nebraska/Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership Project can be found at the Nebraska Energy Office website at www.neo.ne.gov/cleanfuels/retailers.htmland a general listing of retailers through Nebraska can be found at the Nebraska Ethanol Board website at http://ethanol.nebraska.gov/wordpress/buy-ethanol/nebraska-ethanol-stations/.