Ethanol Board offers fuel retailer training to install E15 blends and higher

August 28 at the Younes Center,
416 W Talmadge Rd, Kearney, NE, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

To sign up, fuel retailers should register by Aug. 23 at http://bit.ly/E15WKSHPKearney. The workshop is free, and food and drink will be provided throughout the day.

LINCOLN, Neb. — Since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lifted regulations against the sale of E15 throughout the summer months, the market and industry feedback has proven positive. For the first time ever, consumers driving 2001 or newer vehicles can access the fuel with up to 15% ethanol year-round. Because customers see a decrease in price, an average of 3-7 cents cheaper per gallon than E10, fuel retailers making room for E15 experience an increase in patrons.

“In 2017, our sales of E15 increased over 300 percent; in 2018, they went up another 225 percent,” said Randy Gard, COO of Grand Island-based Bosselman Enterprises. “And with the help of President Trump opening the door for year-round E15, our newest projections for this year show an increase of another 400 percent.”

Bosselman Enterprises operates 45 Pump & Pantry convenience stores in the state, and they have been offering E15 since 2016. Gard said sales growth has been tremendous and it is a huge market opportunity. He encourages other retailers to join the E15 movement to offer a better fuel, at a better cost, that’s better for the environment.

The biggest hurdle that often stops fuel retailers from adding higher ethanol blends is cost, but Roger Berry, administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB), said that might not actually be a hurdle at all. To help dispel these myths and to educate fuel retailers on the benefits and ease of offering E15, NEB will host a free workshop for fuel retailers Aug. 28 in Kearney, Nebraska. Attendees will hear best practices from fuel retailers who’ve seen success selling E15, a keynote from Ron Lamberty of American Coalition of Ethanol, and will learn about resources to make implementing and labeling infrastructure easy and affordable.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about the costs associated with adding E15 to the pump,” Berry said. “Many gas stations can begin to sell E15 with very little investment in their current infrastructure. If a pre-blended E15 is available at the rack where the fuel retailer sources their fuel, they can often times replace one of their current choices, such as an 89 octane mid-grade that they generally sell very little of, with very little to no investment. Of course they must have the Nebraska State Fire Marshall’s office out for an inspection prior to putting E15 in that tank and dispensing it through the dispenser. The retailer does not have to install the more expensive blender pumps in order to sell E15.”

Additionally, some of the burden can be relieved through a grant program from the Nebraska Corn Board, who will award qualifying retailers money for equipment and infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol fuel.

The increase in E15 sales will provide an additional value-added market for Nebraska farmers and ethanol plants, who are experiencing many challenges this year. Weather, the strain of tariffs that have cut U.S. exports drastically, and the EPA’s indiscriminate approval of small refinery exemptions (SREs) are weighing heavily on the industry. Fuel retailers who offer E15 will not only be driving customers seeking lower costs and environmental change to their stores, they will have a real impact on Nebraska’s farmers and economy. 

The Nebraska Ethanol Board works to ensure strong public policy and consumer support for biofuels. Since 1971, the independent state agency has designed and managed programs to expand production, market access, worker safety and technology innovation, including recruitment of producers interested in developing conventional ethanol, as well as bio-products from the ethanol platform. For more information, visit www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

Nebraska Ethanol Board comments on refinery biofuel waivers

LINCOLN, Neb. — On Aug. 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they granted 31 small refinery biofuel waivers for 2018. This follows the 54 waivers the Trump Administration granted in 2016 and 2017, which caused 2.6 billion gallons of demand destruction. These new waivers add another loss of 1.4 billion gallons, for a total loss of 4 billion gallons.

“Over the past two years, the EPA has granted hardship waivers to refineries owned by companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron,” said Roger Berry, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “Their continued handouts to the oil industry comes during a time when heartland farmers are really struggling due to depressed commodity prices, flooding and trade wars. Securing access and demand for homegrown, cleaner-burning biofuels should be top priority from an economic and environmental standpoint, not destroying the marketplace program the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was created for.”

Berry urges everyone to show their continued support for the RFS. American Coalition for Ethanol highlights the many benefits of the RFS: it’s a program that saves American families hundreds of dollars a year in gasoline purchases; has deterred more than $40 billion in foreign oil purchases thus far; reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 42 percent; and serves as a catalyst for technology innovation and private-sector investment in advanced biofuels.

The EPA released proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the RFS and is accepting comments on the proposal until Aug. 30, 2019. The public is invited to engage and make their voices heard regarding the proposed rule here.

“Exempting refiners from blending their obligated share of ethanol directly undermines demand for the quality fuel produced by our hard working farmers and the 1,400 Nebraskans directly employed in the ethanol industry,” Berry said. “I urge all who care about access to cleaner-burning fuel to contact your members of Congress to call for immediate action and submit your comments by Aug. 30. State the need to reallocate the 4 billion lost gallons in the 2020 RVOs.”

The Nebraska Ethanol Board works to ensure strong public policy and consumer support for biofuels. Since 1971, the independent state agency has designed and managed programs to expand production, market access, worker safety and technology innovation, including recruitment of producers interested in developing conventional ethanol, as well as bio-products from the ethanol platform. For more information, visit www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

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Nebraska Ethanol Board Welcomes New Administrator

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Ethanol Board (“NEB” or “the Board”) is pleased to announce that Roger Berry began working at the Board today and will assume the position as NEB’s Administrator following the next board meeting this Friday, May 31.

Berry is from Nebraska, farmed in the state and has served in senior positions in agricultural organizations. Most recently, he spent over three years as Director of Market Development at the Nebraska Corn Board. In that role, Berry worked with NEB staff to carry out ethanol promotion events, spoke about ethanol markets and policy at industry conferences and was involved in industry ethanol policy discussions.

“I commend the NEB members on their choice in Roger Berry to serve as Administrator following my departure,” said current NEB Administrator Sarah Caswell. “Roger is the right person to lead the work of the board at this crucial time for Nebraska’s ethanol industry. He knows the importance of ethanol as a value-added agriculture market, especially during these times of trade uncertainty and an ongoing downturn in the farm economy. His farming background and deep experience and knowledge of the industry will enable him—from day one—to effectively direct the work of the NEB and its staff to carry out the mission of the NEB to the benefit of Nebraska’s ethanol industry stakeholders, including farmers, ethanol producers, consumers and the state’s economy.”

“We thank Sarah for her great work on behalf of the board,” said Nebraska Ethanol Board Chairperson Jan tenBensel. “Her guidance and forethought on industry issues is commendable, and we appreciate all she’s done. This will allow for a seamless transition to Roger, who is a familiar face who is well-known and well-respected in the ag community. He has notable, established relationships with commodity and trade groups both locally and nationally. Roger will be another great asset to the agency.”

The Nebraska Ethanol Board works to ensure strong public policy and consumer support for biofuels. Since 1971, the independent state agency has designed and managed programs to expand production, market access, worker safety and technology innovation, including recruitment of producers interested in developing conventional ethanol, as well as bio-products from the ethanol platform. For more information, visit www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

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Nebraska Ethanol Board Meeting May 31, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet Friday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in Grand Island, Nebraska, in the community meeting room at Bosselman Enterprises Headquarters (1607 S. Locust St.).

The board meeting agenda is as follows:

  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of Feb. 1, 2019, Board Meeting Minutes
  4. Budget Report
  5. Fuel Retailer Update
  6. E30 Demonstration Update
  7. Marketing Programs
  8. Approval of Contracts
  9. State and Federal Legislation
  10. Ethanol Plant Reports
  11. Chair’s Report
  12. Administrator’s Report
  13. Working Lunch
  14. Travel Reports and Authorization
  15. Personnel
  16. Next Meeting Date
  17. Adjourn

This agenda contains all items to come before the Board except those items of an emergency nature.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board works to ensure strong public policy and consumer support for biofuels. Since 1971, the independent state agency has designed and managed programs to expand production, market access, worker safety and technology innovation, including recruitment of producers interested in developing conventional ethanol, as well as bio-products from the ethanol platform. For more information, visit www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

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Renewable Fuels Month is a key time to celebrate Nebraska’s cleaner-burning fuel options

LINCOLN, Neb. – May is typically the kick-off to the summer drive season, and it’s also a time to celebrate renewable fuel choices through Renewable Fuels Month. Since 2006, the acting Nebraska governor has dedicated one month out of each year to recognize the importance of renewable biofuels, such as ethanol, to the state.

Currently, over 97% of all gasoline in the United States, is blended with locally-produced ethanol. Nebraska is home to 25 ethanol plants across the state, which produce 2.2 billion gallons of clean-burning, locally produced fuel each year. Because most of the ethanol produced in the U.S. is produced from corn, ethanol plants also produce over 6.4 million metric tons of distillers grains (a high-protein livestock feed) as an ethanol coproduct.

Nebraska’s ethanol industry also creates jobs. Over 1,400 people in rural Nebraska were directly employed by the industry with an average salary of more than $50,000.

“Nebraska’s ethanol industry not only benefits our state’s farmers, but also our consumers and our nation’s economy,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “The more ethanol we use, the cleaner our air becomes. We’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting cancer-causing toxic chemicals from entering into our atmosphere. Additionally, we’re able to save money at the pump on higher-octane fuels.”

Several events and promotions are scheduled throughout the month of May to raise the awareness of the different renewable fuel options and benefits. The month kicked off with the 2019 Lincoln Marathon/Half Marathon on May 5, 2019. The event was sponsored by American Ethanol, which used the event as a platform to engage with runners and spectators about the clean-air benefits of using ethanol. During the event, the Biofuels Mobile Education Center trailer was on hand and served as an educational lab to explain the positives of the U.S. ethanol industry. RoboTron E15, a 9-foot-tall interactive robot, was also on hand to visit with runners and spectators throughout the weekend.

On Friday, May 17, 2019, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts will make an official proclamation declaring the month as Renewable Fuels Month at Casey’s General Store in Bennington (7141 N. 156th Street, Omaha, Nebraska). The announcement will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be followed by a fuel pump promotion where higher blends of ethanol will be heavily discounted from 10:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m.

“We know we have to share our story with the consumer,” said Jan tenBensel, chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board and farmer from Cambridge. “There truly are many myths going around about the ethanol industry, and we want to be able to set the record straight. Renewable Fuels Month gives us this opportunity.”

Renewable Fuels Month is being coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Additional radio and online promotions will be taking place throughout the month. Follow the Nebraska Corn Board or the Nebraska Ethanol Board on Facebook or Twitter for updates. 

The Nebraska Corn Board is a state funded agency funded through a ½-cent-per-bushel checkoff on all corn marketed in the state. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities. Checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research, promotion and education.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board works to ensure strong public policy and consumer support for biofuels. Since 1971, the independent state agency has designed and managed programs to expand production, market access, worker safety and technology innovation, including recruitment of producers interested in developing conventional ethanol, as well as bio-products from the ethanol platform.

The Advancement of Ethanol in Nebraska