LINCOLN, Nebraska – In the past four years, fuel retailers across Nebraska have joined forces to raise nearly $30,000 for cancer research as part of “Fuel the Cure.” During October, when drivers chose higher blends of ethanol fuel like E15, E30 and E85 at participating retail locations, gas stations donated 3 cents for each gallon sold toward cancer research. This year, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha received $10,827.61.
“Donations to cancer research truly make a difference,” said Jenn Klein, a wife, mother, and breast cancer survivor. “I’m thankful funding was available to discover treatment before I needed it, or I might not be here today.”
When Klein was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, her cancer cells were growing and dividing at a rate of about 80%. Treatment was needed immediately. A funded researcher discovered two of the four chemotherapy treatments she underwent.
While biofuels and cancer research may seem like an unlikely pairing, it is a known fact that using more biofuels leads to less air pollution. According to the American Lung Association, up to 70% of ground-level ozone-forming pollutants come from mobile-source emissions such as our cars.
Some chemicals in gasoline are the same carcinogens found in tobacco, which are linked to cancer. Higher blends of biofuels dilute the toxicity and help reduce cancer-causing aromatics released from tailpipe emissions. Ethanol-blended fuels also reduce greenhouse gases by nearly 50%.
“Ethanol producers and sellers have been the biggest proponents of providing an environmentally friendlier way to power our vehicles for many years,” said Jessica Sodeke, program manager for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “We commend these retailers for making higher ethanol blends available and giving consumers a choice in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Supporting ‘Fuel the Cure’ is a step beyond because the funds are directly impacting lives of patients at the Buffett Cancer Center.”
Drivers who choose ethanol at the pump often see a price break, and their use of ethanol supports Nebraska’s rural communities and the entire Nebraska economy. To find a location near you, visit fueledbynebraska.com.
“Fueling up with higher blends of ethanol, like E15, E30 and E85, is one of the easiest ways consumers can reduce their carbon footprint and create a healthier environment for everyone,” Sodeke said.
E15, also called Unleaded88, is approved for use in passenger vehicles 2001 and newer. Nebraska has approximately 200,000 registered flex fuel vehicles, which can run on any blend of ethanol up to E85 (85% ethanol and 15% 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 a yellow gas cap.
Nebraska ethanol organizations are already preparing for Fuel the Cure 2022 and would encourage Nebraska fuel retailers who sell higher ethanol blends to reach out to Jessica Sodeke, Nebraska Ethanol Board program manager, at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about participating. Donations are also accepted from others interested in supporting this cause, including cancer organizations and ethanol facilities. Please reach out to Sodeke if you are interested in joining the team.
The Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board, and Renewable Fuels Nebraska sponsor “Fuel the Cure” in conjunction with retail stations. To see the full list of stations that donated funds, visit www.fueledbynebraska.com/pink.