Tag Archives: E15

Hurricane Harvey Causes Fuel Changes

LINCOLN, NE – Due to the fuel supply emergency caused by Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a waiver, which relaxes the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirement so E15 may be sold immediately in 38 states, including Nebraska.

As of Aug. 31, more than 20 percent of the U.S. oil refining capacity remains offline due to hurricane and flooding damage. Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) predicts a worst-case scenario price spike of 40 to 60 cents.

Under normal circumstances, reformulated gasoline and low volatility conventional gasoline (winter blends) can only be sold after Sept. 15. This short-term waiver helps ensure an adequate fuel supply throughout the country.

By blending more ethanol, the fuel supplies can go further, especially if flex-fuel-vehicle-owners fill up with E85 and drivers with a vehicle 2001 or newer choose E15, noted Jan tenBensel, Nebraska Ethanol Board vice chairman, who farms south of Cambridge, Nebraska.

“One of easiest things we can do to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery is use more ethanol,” tenBensel said. “By using our homegrown, renewable fuel, we can allow petroleum to be diverted to areas that are in a greater need, which also helps mitigate price hikes.”

E15 is a fuel blend containing 15 percent ethanol, just 5 percent more ethanol than the most commonly used fuel in the U.S. – E10.  E15 is often sold at a 5 to 10-cent per gallon discount to E10, and is higher octane for better vehicle performance. E85 contains up to 85 percent ethanol and should only be used in flex fuel vehicles.

“EPA’s expanded emergency waiver allows us to continue to show that ethanol is a high-octane, low cost alternative,” said Pam Miller, Renewable Fuels Nebraska executive committee member. “RFN recently launched HuskerFuel.com, a website and brand campaign to bring awareness to Nebraska-produced biofuels and higher ethanol blends, like E15 that are available to consumers across the state.”

Due to a quirk in federal gasoline volatility regulations, E15 sales to non-flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) are usually halted from June 1 to September 15. The EPA waiver enacted because of this natural disaster means anyone with a 2001 and newer vehicle can again fill up with E15.

“With gas prices predicted to rise for the foreseeable future, purchasing higher ethanol blends is one way consumers can help free up fuel for areas impacted by the hurricane, and keep money in their own pockets,” said Dave Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board, who farms near St. Edward, Nebraska. “Ethanol blends are truly better fuels that cost less.”

Nebraska drivers can find higher blends of ethanol throughout the state by visiting www.AmericanEthanolNE.org or www.HuskerFuel.com.

 

 

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E15 American Ethanol Blend Now Available in Omaha

 

Special Introductory Price of $1.15 per Gallon at Kum & Go This Friday

OMAHA, NE—On Friday, September 23 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Omaha area drivers will be able fill their tanks with E15, a fuel blend of 15 percent American Ethanol, at a special introductory price of just $1.15 per gallon at participating Kum & Go locations across the metro.kum_and_go_e85_e15_flex_fuel_pumps_2016

Since 2011, E15 has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in all passenger vehicles model year 2001 or newer, including cars, pickups, vans and SUVs.   Flex-fuel vehicles, capable of operating on blends up to E85 (85 percent American Ethanol) can also use E15 regardless of model year.  Omaha now joins more than 80 cities in 26 states across the U.S. offering E15 now sold at select Kum & Go locations.

All vehicles, regardless of model year, are approved to use E10, which is widely available across the country. American Ethanol E15 provides consumers with an additional fueling choice at the pump, while typically costing less than other choices. E15 also increases vehicle performance due to the higher octane in the blend.

American Ethanol is also a cleaner burning, renewable source of octane that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, ground-level ozone and toxic exhaust emissions.  Higher levels of American Ethanol reduce the volume of cancer-causing toxic compounds added to fuel, which helps reduce toxic emissions and harmful particulate matter from the tailpipe.

“This particulate matter poses a health threat to all of us, but poses a special danger to infants, children, the elderly and those who suffer from asthma, heart disease and cardiopulmonary disease,” said Angela Tin, Vice President of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.  “Using ethanol blended fuels helps make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.”

Greg Youell, executive director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), said that E15 is a great way for metro area consumers to participate in MAPA’s “Little Steps, Big Impact”, a campaign to improve air quality and reduce ground-level ozone in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area.  “Biofuels such as American Ethanol are an easy way for consumers to make a choice for cleaner air in the Omaha area,” he said.  “E15 gives even more people the opportunity to help improve air quality in Omaha and save money at the same time.  It’s truly a win-win for all of us.”

Kum & Go pumps with E15 are easily identified by the blue hose on the dispenser.  Following is a list of the Omaha area Kum & Go locations that carry E15 and are participating in the $1.15 per gallon promotion this Friday:

1010 S 154th St Omaha
8990 Boyd St Omaha
4041 N 168th St Omaha
11205 Wickersham Blvd Gretna
2627 S HWS Cleveland Blvd Omaha
14353 Q Street Omaha
1819 N 72nd St Omaha
4443 S 84th St Omaha
10764 Virginia Plaza Papillion

For more information and for a list of participating locations, visit E15Omaha.com or AmericanEthanolNE.org.

A portion of Kum & Go’s Nebraska E15 fuel pump upgrades were paid for with the Access Ethanol Nebraska (AEN), a grant program administrated by the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, with the Nebraska Energy Office as the lead agency. Nebraska’s federal award of approximately $2.3 million for the AEN program came from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). USDA rules require that the USDA funds be matched dollar for dollar with funds from state, private industry or foundations. Matching funds will come from the Nebraska Corn Board through the state corn checkoff funds paid by Nebraska corn farmers and from the Nebraska Environmental Trust approved funding of $500,000 for each of the next two years. Matching funds will also come from contributions made by individual ethanol plants and “Prime the Pump,” a nonprofit organized and funded by the ethanol industry to improve ethanol infrastructure.

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Nebraska Gasoline Blends Top 13 Billion Gallons of Ethanol

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.

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USDA Announces State Finalists for the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Sept. 10, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 21 states will receive grants through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to add infrastructure needed to supply more renewable fuel to America’s drivers. Since announcing the program in May 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) received applications requesting over $130 million, outpacing the $100 million that is available. With a more than 1:1 match from private and state resources, USDA estimates that the BIP grants will support nearly 5,000 pumps at over 1,400 fueling stations across the country.

“The quality and geographic diversity of the applications, backed by supportive state and private partners, demonstrate the strong demand across the country for cleaner, more affordable fuel,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership is one approach USDA is using to aggressively pursue investments in American-grown renewable energy to create new markets for U.S. farmers and ranchers, help Americans save money on their energy bills, support America’s clean energy economy, cut carbon pollution and reduce dependence on foreign oil and costly fossil fuels.”

A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy most consumers can purchase at the pump. USDA estimates that this investment will more than double the number of stations that offer intermediate blends of ethanol, mainly E15 fuel levels, nationwide.

Through BIP, USDA will award competitive grants, matched by states, to expand the infrastructure for distribution of higher blends of ethanol. BIP funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation must be used to pay a portion of the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol blends, for example E15 and E85, at vehicle fueling locations. The matching contributions may be used for these items or for related costs such as additional infrastructure to support pumps, marketing, education, data collection, program evaluation and administrative costs. This partnership will expand markets for farmers, support rural economic growth and the jobs that come with it, and ultimately give consumers more choices at the pump.

The preliminary list of state finalists and estimated pumps includes:

Colorado 28

Florida 892

Illinois 428

Indiana 110

Iowa 187

Kansas 174

Louisiana 110

Michigan 89

Minnesota 620

Missouri 171

Nebraska 80

North Carolina 190

North Dakota 90

Ohio 148

Pennsylvania 308

South Dakota 74

Texas 763

Virginia-Maryland 191

West Virginia 107

Wisconsin 120

TOTAL 4880

Funding amounts for each state will be announced at a later date. For more information about BIP, visit the Energy Programs website.

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USDA Offers $100M for Ethanol Pumps

This article was originally published on The Hill and can be found here.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering states up to $100 million to encourage the use of gasoline pumps that blend high amounts of ethanol into the fuel.15NEIC-001 Ethanol Forum pocket agenda_HR3

The effort is meant to bring more ethanol to consumers that can use high blends, like 15 percent or 85 percent ethanol.

The announcement came Friday, the same day the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disappointed corn growers and others involved in ethanol production by proposing an ethanol blending mandate lower than than the targets set in law.

“American-made, clean energy sources support the environment, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and sustain the economy in rural communities across the country,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

“With this partnership, USDA is helping to ensure the infrastructure is in place for consumers to access more renewable fuels, expand marketing opportunities for farmers, and grow America’s rural economies,” he said.

The USDA program will match state funds to help install so-called blender pumps, which allow consumers to specify the amount of ethanol in their gasoline.

Only certain vehicles and engines can handle more than 10 percent ethanol in gasoline, a factor that has affected how high the EPA will go with its mandate.

But for owners of the engines that can handle higher blends, the special pumps could be the key to injecting more ethanol into the market, the USDA said.

The USDA hopes to double the number of ethanol blending pumps in the country through the new grants, it said.

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