Tag Archives: Gothenburg

Flex Fuel Grand Opening in Gothenburg

Blue Heron Renewable Flex Fuel Plaza

GOTHENBURG, NE – Flex fuel vehicle drivers can take advantage of huge savings on E85 for just $0.85 a gallon at the Gothenburg Blue Heron Renewable Flex Fuel Plaza (1102 S. Lake Ave.) Thursday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Consumers will be limited to 30 gallons and no containers are allowed.

Lt. Governor Mike Foley, state officials and the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce will kick off the ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. to mark the grand opening of the new flex fuel pumps. Complimentary refreshments will be available to customers throughout the promotion. Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and local corn growers will be on site greeting drivers, pumping fuel, and providing giveaways.

Blue Heron is the only fuel station in Gothenburg with flex fuel pumps offering a variety of cleaner-burning ethanol blends. The flex fuel pumps now dispense E10, E15, E30, E40 and E85. The station is also strategically located along Interstate 80 (exit 211) and Highway 47.

Scott McPheeters

“There was a need and an opportunity to provide more ethanol blends at a great price in central Nebraska,” said Scott McPheeters, Nebraska Ethanol Board member and Gothenburg farmer. “Blue Heron is a great location to attract business from the more than 15,000 vehicles a day traveling on Interstate 80.”

 

In addition to state and federal grant support, ethanol producers in central Nebraska have chipped in to support Blue Heron. KAAPA Ethanol in Minden, Nebraska, sponsored fuel canopy and billboard upgrades for the station, while Nebraska Corn Processing and Anew Fuel Services in Cambridge, Nebraska, provided ethanol at a discounted price for the grand opening.

“There has been great collaboration between public and private entities to make this station a success,” said Megan Grimes, Nebraska Ethanol Board program manager. “We applaud Blue Heron for providing consumers more choice and offering cleaner-burning, homegrown fuel at a lower cost.”

E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in all passenger vehicles model year 2001 and newer. Ethanol blends higher than 15 percent are approved for use in flex fuel vehicles. One in seven Nebraskans are driving a flex fuel vehicle, which can run on any blend of American Ethanol up to E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). Drivers can check their owner’s manual to see if they’re driving a flex fuel vehicle. The vehicle might also have a flex fuel badge on the trunk or tailgate — or have a yellow gas cap.

A portion of Blue Heron’s 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 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.

McPheeters Appointed to Serve on Nebraska Ethanol Board

Scott McPheeters, NEB Business Representative

Lincoln, Neb. – Scott McPheeters joins the Nebraska Ethanol Board as the business representative. He was appointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts Feb. 9 and sworn in by the legislature March 3.

McPheeters has a family farm operation southwest of Gothenburg, producing food-grade white and yellow corn for Frito-Lay, as well as soybeans and alfalfa hay. His family also has rangeland for beef production. While little of his corn crop actually ends up in ethanol production, he is still passionate about promoting renewable fuels.

“I’m looking forward to working with a board that has been so effective at helping our state build 25 ethanol plants and increasing knowledge and promotion of ethanol use, because it is a win for all parties,” McPheeters said. “It’s good for farmers, livestock producers, consumers, and the environment.”

A founding member of KAAPA (Kearney Area Ag Producers Alliance), the only farmer-owned ethanol plant in Nebraska, McPheeters has been involved in ethanol since 2000. Currently, he serves on the KAAPA board of managers and on the board for a sister company, KAAPA Grains. He was also recently elected to the American Coalition for Ethanol board of directors in 2016.

“Consumers are influenced by a lot of misinformation, and they don’t realize they can save money and the environment by using more ethanol,” McPheeters said. “People are surprised to learn that ethanol is in 98 percent of the U.S. gasoline supply and they’ve been using it successfully.

My objective is simple: provide facts for consumers so they can be confident their cars love ethanol and they should use it every time. It starts with the fact that ethanol is the safest component in gasoline today.”

According to EPA’s Urban Air Toxics report to Congress, U.S. refiners increasingly boost octane by adding refining by-products such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene. Several of these chemicals are known and suspected carcinogens, and they’re more expensive additives.

“These products of oil refining, known as aromatics, can produce cancer-causing emissions,” McPheeters said. “Ethanol is much less expensive and burns cleaner than these toxic petroleum-based chemicals. Blending even just 10 percent ethanol in gasoline reduces tailpipe emissions that lead to smog. The inexpensive, renewable, octane-boosting capabilities of ethanol make it an indispensable part of the U.S. motor fuel supply.”

A study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January shows that ethanol releases 43 percent fewer greenhouse gases (GHG) than gasoline. The report provides research that corn ethanol is a GHG-friendly alternative to fossil fuels while boosting farm economies.

“I look forward to helping farmers be profitable with additional markets for the corn we produce so efficiently,” McPheeters said. “Agriculture is a huge economic engine for us all, because when farmers make money, they spend it with businesses that put local people to work. We can keep more of our fuel dollars right here in the Corn Belt, rather than sending money to foreign nations.”

When not farming and advocating for ethanol, McPheeters and his wife, Patti, enjoy time with their four children and three grandchildren.

Paul Kenney, who farms near Kearney, Nebraska, preceded McPheeters as the business representative on the Ethanol Board. Kenney was recently elected to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents after serving eight years on the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

McPheeters joins current board members: Mike Thede, chairman (Palmer, Neb.); Jan tenBensel, vice chairman (Cambridge, Neb.); Mark Ondracek, secretary (Omaha, Neb.); Galen Frenzen (Fullerton, Neb.); Tim Else (Belvidere, Neb.); Randy Gard (Grand Island, Neb.); and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chemical Engineering Professor Hunter Flodman, who serves as the board’s technical advisor.

Members of the Nebraska Ethanol Board are appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms. The seven-member board includes four members actively engaged in farming (general farming, corn, wheat and sorghum), one member representing labor interests, one member representing petroleum marketers and one member representing business. The Board’s technical advisor serves as a non-voting member.