NEB’s statement on EPA’s 2019 RVO numbers

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA set a total renewable fuel blending obligation of 19.92 billion gallons next year, consisting of 4.92 billion gallons for advanced biofuel, 418 million gallons for cellulosic biofuel, and 15 billion gallons for conventional biofuel, which is expected to be made up of corn-starch ethanol volumes.

“The RFS is a fundamental driver of ethanol investment and demand in Nebraska,” said Sarah Caswell, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “The policy provides vital value-added agriculture opportunities for the state’s farmers, producers and surrounding communities. We commend the EPA for issuing the timely and robust 2019 blending levels by the statutory deadline.

Nebraska producers are on the cutting edge of innovation leading to greater market opportunities for the production and use of ethanol and related technologies. Many Nebraska ethanol producers are adding improved enzymes and technologies to their existing processes and equipment to enable them to co-produce measurable volumes of both conventional corn-starch ethanol and cellulosic ethanol made from corn kernel fiber. The increase in cellulosic and advanced Renewable Volume Obligations for 2019 will help to further this progress.

We will continue to work with Nebraska’s strong biofuel policy champions, including Governor Pete Ricketts and Senator Deb Fischer, and other important Renewable Fuel Standard stakeholders to help maintain the stability of the policy. This includes working to ensure that any future small refinery waivers do not reduce ethanol volumes, which creates market destruction.”


Fueling with ethanol yields $6,100 for local cancer center

LINCOLN, Nebraska – Throughout October, drivers raised more than $6,100 for cancer research by choosing American Ethanol blends at select Nebraska retail stations participating in Fuel the Cure.

Fuel the Cure is a Nebraska awareness promotion designed to bring attention to the benefits of cleaner-burning American Ethanol blends available throughout the state. For every gallon of ethanol-blended fuel – E15 to flex fuel E85 – purchased between Oct. 1-31, the participating fuel station donated 3 cents per gallon with proceeds benefitting the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.

While biofuels and cancer research may seem like an unlikely pairing, research shows that using more biofuels leads to less air pollution. According to the American Lung Association, up to 70 percent of ground-level ozone-forming pollutants come from mobile-source emissions.

“Gasoline contains as many as 300 different chemicals,” said Sarah Caswell, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “Some of these chemicals are known and suspected to cause cancer. Higher blends of biofuel dilute the level of toxic additives in our fuel, which helps reduce pollution and the threat to public health. Ethanol is the safest component in gasoline today.”

The mission of the Fred & Pamela Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer in Nebraska through premier educational programs, innovative research, the highest quality patient care, and outreach to underserved populations. Representatives from the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and Renewable Fuels Nebraska presented a donation check to the Cancer Center Nov. 15.

“This has been a great partnership for us because we want to share the positive benefits of cleaner-burning American Ethanol,” said David Bruntz, Nebraska Corn Board chairman and farmer from Friend. “Fuel the Cure helps us achieve this goal while aiding in cancer research. I look forward to seeing this awareness campaign continue to grow with more participating fuel retailers and more drivers choosing ethanol-blended fuels.”

The Nebraska Corn and Ethanol Boards, along with Renewable Fuels Nebraska, sponsor Fuel the Cure in conjunction with retail stations. To see the full list of stations that donated funds, visit

Cooperative Producers adds E15 at Funk location

LINCOLN, Nebraska – The Nebraska Ethanol Board applauds Cooperative Producers, Inc. (CPI) for adding E15 at their fuel site in Funk, Nebraska. This is CPI’s third location selling E15 in Nebraska.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative we need to support the folks who do business with us,” said Gary Brandt, vice president of Energy with CPI. “CPI uses 500,000 bushels of corn in the ethanol we sell every year, so adding more ethanol to the pumps in Funk really brings a sense of ownership to our growers who work hard throughout the year to feed and fuel our country.”

Brandt noted that CPI’s Funk location only sold a small amount of conventional clear gasoline, so they are removing that product to sell E10 and E15 fuel. CPI did not need to modify fuel storage or dispenser equipment to add E15.

“This location doesn’t have a flex fuel pump, but we’re still able to offer E15 by blending it at the pipeline terminal,” Brandt said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the impact on our business by only offering ethanol-blended fuels. As E15 fuel gains momentum, we believe it will become available at most fuel stations in Nebraska.”

E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, is typically priced 5 to 10 cents lower than regular unleaded, and has an octane rating of 88. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 for use in all vehicles 2001 and newer, and it is currently available at more than 40 stations across Nebraska.

“We appreciate Cooperative Producers’ move to add higher blends like E15, because more ethanol means fewer toxic chemicals in our fuel,” said Sarah Caswell, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “Using higher blends of ethanol is a good decision for all Nebraskans. It helps the state’s economy, consumers’ wallets, vehicle engines and the environment. Ethanol’s impact across the country and the globe continues to grow, but it starts right here at home.”

“We often refer to our industry as the ‘golden triangle,’” said Ted Schrock, district 6 director of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Elm Creek. “We have productive corn, ethanol and livestock sectors, which all work together to boost our state’s economy while providing us with food, fuel and fiber. CPI Cooperative has taken a great step in strengthening this triangle by using a renewable, locally-produced product that benefits everyone who likes to breathe clean air while saving at the pump.”

To learn more about diversifying fuel choice and adding more ethanol blends, visit Fuel retailers may also qualify for a fuel infrastructure grant from the Nebraska Corn Board:

Cooperative Producers, Inc. is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in Hastings, Nebraska, which operates in south central Nebraska. CPI currently serves more than 32 communities with more than 400 employees and offers a range of products and services in agronomy, energy, feed, and grain divisions.

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



NEB joins industry partners in comments to the EPA

LINCOLN, Nebraska – In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to amend the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emission standards, the Nebraska Ethanol Board joined with industry partners to submit comments highlighting ethanol as an ideal octane choice in fuel.

“Auto manufacturers need higher-octane fuel options to get superior fuel economy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower prices for consumers,” said Sarah Caswell, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “Ethanol is high octane, low carbon and the safest component in gasoline today. Ethanol is the clear choice for a healthier environment.”

Mid-level ethanol blends have proven to provide a low-carbon, low-cost source of octane and industry partners provided specific recommendations on what regulatory barriers to address. This rule has the potential to eliminate major roadblocks for increased ethanol demand, Caswell noted.

The comments to the EPA focused on several key points, all centered on the role high-octane fuels can play in meeting the policy objectives of the proposed rule and identifying clean-burning, low-carbon, low-cost ethanol as a means of doing so. Industry partners provided detailed information on the health and economic benefits of an ethanol-based, high-octane program and some of the specific regulatory obstacles that EPA can remove.

Partner organizations signing on the comments included: Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, Urban Air Initiative, National Farmers Union, Farmers Union Enterprises, and Farmers Union chapters in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. View the full comments here.

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

Nebraska Ethanol Board hopeful for vapor-pressure change

LINCOLN, Neb. – Today, President Donald Trump voiced support again for E15 by directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin the rulemaking process to allow the fuel to be sold nationwide year round. E15 is approved for use in 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles.

Due to an antiquated regulation from 1990, the federal government holds E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, to tougher standards than other fuels during the summer. Between June 1 and Sept. 15, E15 is limited for use in flex fuel vehicles only due to federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements.

“We are grateful to the President for taking this crucial step toward year-round E15 sales,” said Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator Sarah Caswell. “We are hopeful this long overdue federal waiver will be finalized and effective before the summer driving season.”

According to Growth Energy, a national ethanol trade association, allowing year-round sales of E15 by granting the RVP waiver could boost domestic ethanol demand by 1.3 billion gallons within five years.

“We should see an increase in fuel retailers across the state and nation offering E15 when the red tape and regulatory barriers are removed,” said Randy Gard, Nebraska Ethanol Board petroleum representative and chief operations officer for Bosselman Enterprises. “The waiver takes the perceived risk out of the market for fuel retailers, which will stimulate ethanol markets. E15 gives consumers another renewable, low-cost option at the pump.”

The E15 change will not be immediate, as it requires a formal rule-making process with the EPA. The EPA is expected to publish a proposed rule in the coming weeks, followed by a public comment period.

“Allowing E15 and higher blends of ethanol year round provides a boost for industry stakeholders including farmers, ethanol producers, fuel retailers, consumers and local communities,” said Caswell. “We look forward to working with all our ethanol champions in government to make this a reality.”

Caswell noted that Nebraska state fleet vehicles have been running on E15 for more than two years, saving the state money while using a homegrown product. Nebraska continues that forward thinking by recently seeking and receiving EPA approval to evaluate the use of E30 in conventional vehicles owned by the state.

“The focus remains on bringing high-octane, low-carbon fuels to the market to meet vehicle standards,” said Caswell. “We’ll continue our work with automakers and policymakers on retail infrastructure, removing market barriers, reducing cost and ensuring availability.”



The Advancement of Ethanol in Nebraska