Georgia Alternative Fuel Road Rally Concludes With Ethanol Front and Center

Article from www.ffv-awareness.org.

Atlanta: The FlexFuel Awareness Campaign concluded two weeks of crisscrossing the state to promote alternative fuels as part of the Georgia Alternative Fuel Road Rally and reports that ethanol use in FFVs could increase significantly as a result of the program.

Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator and a  FlexFuel Awareness Campaign board member, spoke with government officials and fleet managers throughout the state and visited four cities last week. “Over the course of two weeks our team met with nearly 300 fleet management personnel and local municipalities to provide them with information on the ethanol option,” Sneller said. “I am pleased to report that the Georgia state government is preparing to energize the E85 initiative at the state level. The state has nearly 5,000 FFVs in service but they need to facilitate more efficient fuel supply logistics. Several large county fleets are also moving toward E85 since we explained the potential cost savings,” he said.

The Clean Fuels Development Coalition and the Clean Fuels Foundation, Growth Energy, the Kansas and Nebraska Corn Growers, and a number of agriculture and ethanol supporters are among the sponsors of the tour which is designed to increase consumer and fleet operator awareness for alternative fuels. The FlexFuel Awareness Campaign is focusing on the message that high level ethanol blends and FFVs are an option for private and government fleets and that they can be very competitive among the family of legally defined alternative fuels.

Sneller noted that fleet managers are looking to use cleaner fuels within the tight budgets they are facing. Ethanol continues to offer attractive pricing but an inefficient fuel delivery system is subverting the potential price advantage to fleet managers and consumers. In addition, there is a great need for consumer awareness and to work with retail outlets that serve both fleets and individual consumers.

“As part of an ‘all of the above’ approach, this Road Show showcases all the alternative fuels, and they all have their strengths and advantages in a given situation. We are pleased to be part of this successful effort and make sure biofuels like ethanol are in the mix”, Sneller said.

Following the Georgia road show the program will move to other Southeast regions including Florida. Later the program will focus on Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Metropolitan area with numerous events planned throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. For more information, contact Doug Durante at cfdcinc@aol.com or Todd Sneller at todd.sneller@nebraska.gov. Additional Information is available at www.afvroadshow.com.

Reaching Georgia Fleet Managers

Original article by Holly Jessen, Ethanol Producers Magazine.

Just recently, I learned about the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Roadshow. The basic goal of the roadshow is to educate fleet managers, city leaders and state legislators about alternative fuel vehicles. Since 2012, 36 events have been held in Georgia, Tennessee and more are planned in other Southeastern states. According to the website, “The mission of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Roadshow is to serve the alternative energy economy, by advancing ideas about propane, natural gas, biofuels and electric vehicles which drive the transportation industry forward.”

This year, for the first time, there was a biofuels presence at the roadshow, said Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. Does that surprise you? It did me. Previous roadshows included information about propane, fuel cell, electric vehicle and natural gas transportation technologies, but nothing about biofuels.

During the last roadshow, which was held June 17-26 in multiple Georgia cities, information about flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) was included as part of the The FlexFuel Awareness Campaign, a program of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition and the Clean Fuels Foundation. Additional financial support was provided by Growth Energy and other groups, including some ethanol producers and the corn grower groups from Kansas and Nebraska, Sneller told me.

Clean Fuels Executive Director Doug Durante and Sneller were on hand to talk to hundreds of fleet managers about FFVs and E85. Part of the rally is a visual show, displaying the actual alternative fuel vehicle, and the second part is a series of presentations about the different technologies. Although GM, Ford and Chrysler were all contacted to provide a FFV for the roadshow, all turned the opportunity down, Sneller said. Fortunately, a local dealership provided a 2014 Chevrolet Impala, which was displayed with educational magnetic signs and banners about FFVs and E85 pumps. Now that the event is over, they’ve been busy following up on requests for additional information and assistance, he added.

Participating in the event would not have been possible without the help of Tim Echols, a Georgia public service commissioner who drives an FFV and is a vocal advocate for alternative fuels. Echols connected Durante and Sneller with the dealership and spoke to fleet managers about ethanol and distillers grains production. He also invited other commissioners and legislators to the event. “The messenger was important here,” Sneller said, adding that at Echols’ request, he’s mailing him a magnetic sign about FFVs for Echols to display on his personal vehicle.

In fact, Echols is the reason the Clean Fuels Foundation and the Nebraska Ethanol Board decided to participate in the roadshow in the first place, after he made contact asking for educational materials, Sneller said. The southeast is an important growth market for ethanol where not much has been done to educate consumers about use of the fuel. At this point, E85 is still somewhat of a novelty in Georgia. Many Georgians are driving around in FFVs without even realizing they could fill up with alternative fuel, a fact that Sneller finds ridiculous.

It’s not practical for Durante and Sneller to attend all the upcoming roadshows, nor is there enough funding for that. Sneller appealed for more financial support for the project, as well as local participation in the individual stops. The next series of stops will be held in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Ethanol Sector Wages Outpace Other Nebraska Industries

Over the last decade, wages earned in Nebraska’s ethanol production sector outpaced all other manufacturing groups in state, according to the Nebraska Department of Labor’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program. In 2013, the average annual wage in the ethanol sector was $59,541. By comparison, the average for all other manufacturing sectors in the state was $39,966.

“Nebraska’s ethanol industry now has twenty-four operating plants located across the state with the capacity to produce more than two billion gallons annually,” according to Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “The impact of ethanol production goes far beyond rural Nebraska. Virtually every sector of the state’s economy benefits from ethanol’s growth. Economic benefits accrue to technology and manufacturing sectors that provide software and sophisticated equipment to the agricultural sector that provides the raw materials processed in the plants,” he said.

“A vibrant agricultural economy is a major component of Nebraska’s economic success and the growing importance of ethanol is particularly notable. The ethanol industry generates 7,700 jobs, increases Nebraska’s annual economic base by $5.8 billion, and pays more than $38 million in local and state tax revenues each year.” Sneller said.

Estimated Annual Economic Impacts Associated With the Operation of Nebraska Operating Ethanol Plants(a)

  • Increased Economic Effect on: Direct Effects*, Total Impacts(b)
  • Total Ethanol Production 2,077 million gallons
  • Economic base (Output)(c) . . . . . . . $4,652.5 million, $5,114.6 million
  • Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,293, 5,289
  • Household income . . . . . . . . . . . . . $119.2 million, $276.5 million
  • Tax revenues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15.0 million, $38.3 million
  • Retail Sales (Households) . . . . . . . . N/A, $105,397.5 million
  • Grain prices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N/A, $0.05-0.10/bushel

(a) Includes the estimated direct inputs, including labor, required to produce 2,077 million gallons of ethanol.

(b) Includes the estimated direct and secondary (indirect and induced) economic effects associated with the operation of the 24 operational Nebraska ethanol production facilities, as of December 2013. Operational facilities include plants operating in December 2013 plus the Aventine plant in Aurora. Values for the AGP Corn Processing, Inc. plant in Hasting, which is permanently shut down, and the E3 Biofuels plant in Mead are not included in these numbers.

(c) Reported value is for revenues from sales of ethonal only and does not include value of 6.3 million tons of potential distillers grains production. Nebraska, 2012 estimated average pricer per ton for distillers grains was $262 for dry and $95 for wet.

Source: Data on ethanol production capacity and estimated employment for the 25 operational Nebraska plants were obtained from the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Other direct effects (value of output, household income, tax revenues) and estimates of the secondary and total economic effects are derived from a 2014 study, Estimated Economic Impacts of Nebraska’s Ethanol Facilities, 2013, prepared by Kenneth M. Lemke (Nebraska Public Power District).

New Flex Fuel Pumps Open in Three Nebraska Towns

Original article published by the Nebraska Corn Board.

New flex fuel pumps are now open in three Nebraska towns: Lewis and Clark Mini Mart in Crofton, Tom’s Service in Pierce, and Country Partners Co-op in Spalding.

These locations add to the more than 85 locations in Nebraska with E85/flex fuel pumps that offer ethanol-blended fuels such as E85 for flex fuel vehicles. Lewis and Clark Mini Mart and Tom’s Service both offer E85 and E30 for flex fuel vehicles, as well as E10 for all vehicles. Country Partners Co-op in Spalding has E85, E30, and E20 for flex fuel vehicles in addition to E10.

When flex fuel drivers fill up on E85 and other ethanol blends, they’re strengthening Nebraska’s economy, creating jobs, making our country more energy independent and helping the environment.

“We have been working hard to get flex fuel pumps located across Nebraska,” said Kim Clark, director of biofuels development for the Nebraska Corn Board. “It has been a struggle to get more infrastructure installed, because of the commitment a fuel retailer has to make, so it’s exciting to see flex fuel pumps go into these three new locations.”

Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator said, “Ethanol saves motorist money at the pump. For a short period of time, ethanol prices were very close to gasoline, but now we are seeing a larger spread, and it is very economical to use ethanol-blended fuels, especially for flex fuel vehicles.”

Clark notes that one in 10 Nebraska motorists currently own a flex fuel vehicle which can run on any blend of ethanol and gasoline, up to E85, and they don’t even know it.

“If you have a yellow gas cap or a yellow ring around your gas port or see a flex fuel badge on your vehicle, you are driving a flex fuel vehicle,” Clark said. You can also confirm if a vehicle is flex fuel, by checking the owner’s manual.

Grand opening details for each location will be available at a later date.

These pumps were paid for in part by a grant provided by the Nebraska Corn Board. These locations are supporting the local economy and creating jobs by offering a homegrown, locally produced fuel, ethanol.

To find a list of retailers that offer E85 and other mid-level ethanol blends visit the www.ethanol.nebraska.gov or www.nebraskacorn.org.

10 Reasons to Use Ethanol-Blended Fuel this Summer

The choice at the gas pump is easier for Nebraskans in their summer travel and recreational plans this year. And that choice is renewable, cost-effective and builds a strong economy. Here are 10 reasons to use ethanol-blended fuel this summer.

1. The most affordable fuel.

The drastic rise of gas prices in the busy summer months hurts our pocketbooks. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) projection for the April-through-September summer driving season year is on average $3.61/gallon, 3 cents higher than last year. This year’s Memorial Day holiday saw drivers paying slightly more for gasoline than the previous two years, according to AAA. Thankfully, ethanol-blended fuel lowers gas prices up to $1.09 per gallon on average and saves the average American household $1,200 on their gas bill annually.

2. It’s renewable.

It’s no secret that Nebraska is the “Cornhusker” state and is notably the third largest corn producing state and second largest ethanol producing state in the nation. By growing 14 billion bushels of corn in the U.S. in 2013, corn is a renewable crop that provides for a reliable fuel source year after year. A recent poll by Fuels America found that 92 percent of U.S. adults support having renewable fuel at their local gas station, specifically E15 fuel – renewable fuel made of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline.

3. Ethanol plants create food, feed and fuel.

An ethanol plant doesn’t just make fuel. When a bushel of corn travels to the plant to make fuel, it also makes food and other co-products in the process. Co-products include livestock feed called distillers grains, corn oil and other products that add to the food supply. In other words, we’re making food, feed and fuel. From one bushel of corn comes 2.8 gallons of ethanol in addition to 17 pounds of distillers grains. The strong ethanol industry in Nebraska is one of the main factors for the state’s recent status move into the number one cattle feeding state because of the availability of the high-protein, value-added distillers grains feedstuff.

4. Has not driven up food prices.

The price of corn is the lowest it’s been in three years, yet food prices have not come down. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) change in food prices index shows that food prices are going to continue to rise. So what is driving up food prices? Researchers at the World Bank identified crude oil as the number one determinant of global food prices; as the price of oil increases, food prices follow closely behind.

5. Builds up our state economy and growth of jobs.

Just in Nebraska alone, over 1,200 direct jobs are attributed to the ethanol industry, not to mention the hundreds of thousands indirect jobs across the country. Ethanol supports rural America, generating a $500 billion increase to communities’ farm assets around the country. When agriculture is healthy, the state economy is healthy.

6. Gives consumers a choice.

Ethanol, a renewable fuel, gives Nebraskans a choice when they go to fill up with gas. Those choices aren’t limited to the lower price of their gas bill, but also the chance to choose a domestic, clean-burning fuel that fuels our state’s economy as well. Those drivers with a flex fuel vehicle (FFV) have the choice to use any ethanol fuel blend up to 85 percent ethanol (E85).

7. Reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Compared with oil, ethanol-blended fuel burns cleaner and reduces harmful GHG emissions. Ethanol lowers the level of toxic, cancer-causing emissions in vehicle exhaust—reducing air pollution, improving human health, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

8. Ethanol is homegrown.

Ethanol has dramatically reduced the size of the checks America writes to foreign oil suppliers to the tune of $44 billion dollars saved last year. The U.S. reduced oil imports by 476 million barrels in 2013—the equivalent of about 12 percent of total U.S. crude oil imports, thanks to this renewable resource.

9. Use in boats and mowers.

With the summer months comes fun in the sun and in the yard. Ethanol-blended fuels up to 10 percent (E10) can be used successfully in marine watercraft and small engines, such as lawn mowers. Small engine owners should know that EPA has approved E15 only for automobiles manufactured in model year 2001 and newer, and it is not approved for any other engine use.

10. E15: tested and safe.

E15, fuel blended that is 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, has been the most aggressively and comprehensively tested fuel in the history of the EPA, which has been approved for its use in vehicles starting with the 2001 model year and newer. E15 saves more money at the pump, burns cleaner and supports our economy. NASCAR race cars have run more than 5 million miles on E15, starting with the 2011 racing season, and its drivers and mechanics give the fuel high marks for power and durability.

The Advancement of Ethanol in Nebraska