All posts by Amber Rucker

Fuel Stations and drivers raise $10K for Buffett Cancer center

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.

Jenn Klein celebrates over five years free of breast cancer at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Lincoln this past summer. Klein wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for donations to cancer research. Researchers are the ones who 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.sodeke@nebraska.gov 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.

New administrator to take the reins at Nebraska Ethanol Board beginning January 2022

Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) today announced the hiring of Reid Wagner as administrator of the agency. Wagner will join NEB on Jan. 3, 2022, and he replaces Roger Berry, whose last day will be Dec. 10, 2021.

Jan tenBensel, NEB chairman, commented on Berry’s departure and Wagner’s upcoming start: “Roger is a tremendous asset to the Nebraska ethanol industry, and we all benefited from his guidance and passion for agriculture and biofuels. He’s a great friend who will be missed. We look forward to Reid coming on board with our team, and we know his background and knowledge will take us, and the ethanol plants we work on behalf of, to new heights as the future of the biofuels industry evolves.”

Roger Berry

Wagner graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned his degree in chemical engineering. His professional experience thus far has led to positions at Evonik as a process engineer; ExxonMobil as a process design engineer; and Cargill as a production management engineering team member in the starches and sweeteners sector.

“I am thrilled to join a strong, cohesive team in the Nebraska Ethanol Board and to use my diverse engineering background to foster growth and support innovation of an industry that is vital to my home state,” Wagner said.

Reid Wagner

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 www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

Nebraska Ethanol Board Dec. 9th Board Meeting to be held in Lincoln

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet in Lincoln at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 9. The meeting will be at Hyatt Place (600 Q Street). The agenda is as follows:

  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of Sept. 1, 2021, Board Meeting Minutes
  4. Public Opportunity for Questions, Comments or Concerns
  5. Budget Report
  6. Fuel Retailer Update
  7. Nebraska Corn Board Update
  8. Renewable Fuels Nebraska Update
  9. Marketing Programs
  10. Dues & Memberships
  11. Funding Requests
  12. NEB-hosted Conferences & Events
  13. Working Lunch
  14. State and Federal Legislation
  15. Ethanol Plant Reports
  16. Chair’s Report
  17. Administrator’s Report
  18. Travel Reports and Authorization
  19. Personnel
  20. Executive Session
  21. Election of Board Officers for 2022
  22. Next Meeting Date
  23. Adjourn

This agenda contains all items to come before the Board except those items of an emergency nature.

Nebraska Ethanol Board meetings are open to the public and also published on the public calendar.

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 www.ethanol.nebraska.gov

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Fuel Retailers And Consumers Fuel Up For Cancer Research

Throughout October, drivers can help Fuel the Cure for breast cancer by filling up with higher blends of ethanol – E15 to flex fuel E85 – at participating locations. Nearly 50 Nebraska gas stations will donate 3 cents for every gallon of higher ethanol blends sold between Oct. 1­‑31 to support cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha. Since 2018, Nebraska’s Fuel the Cure campaigns have raised more than $18,000 for cancer research. Find a list of participants at www.fueledbynebraska.com/pink.

Why support this important cause?
Jenn Klein of Lincoln was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. Her cancer cells were growing and dividing very rapidly – at a rate of about 80%. Lifesaving treatment was needed right away. She completed 20 weeks of chemotherapy, received multiple blood and platelets transfusions, underwent a four-hour procedure that included a port removal, sentinel node biopsy, double mastectomy, and immediate one-step reconstruction, and endured 33 sessions of radiation. By the end of 2015, Jenn was finally cancer free. If it wasn’t for a chemotherapy treatment that was discovered by a funded researcher, Jenn might not be alive today to share her story.

Jenn Klein of Lincoln was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. Her cancer cells were growing and dividing very rapidly – at a rate of about 80%. Lifesaving treatment was needed right away. If it wasn’t for a chemotherapy treatment that was discovered by a funded researcher, Jenn might not be alive today to share her story. Jenn, far left, with her daughter and husband. 

Chemicals in gasoline are known to cause cancer. The 2021 “Assessment on Ethanol-Blended Gasoline/Diesel Fuels on Cancer Risk and Mortality,” was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It proves what the ethanol industry has known for years. The assessment focuses on carcinogens, or substances capable of causing cancer, and epigenetics, or how behaviors and environment can affect how your genes work, and the impact of biofuels on each. The research suggests cancer risks are positively associated with exposure to occupational and environmental chemical carcinogens, including those from gasoline combustion exhausted in vehicles. Epigenetic abnormalities, including DNA hypermethylation, histone deacetylation, and/or microRNA dysregulation, have been demonstrated as a hallmark of cancer. Compared with gene mutations, aberrant epigenetic changes occur more frequently, and the cellular epigenome is more susceptible to change by environmental factors.

Oil refiners blend chemicals and aromatic hydrocarbons into gasoline to prevent the fuel from premature combustion (known as knocking), but ethanol has superior anti-knock properties and is used as a non-toxic substitute. Higher blends of biofuels, like locally-produced ethanol, replace a portion of these harmful chemicals – reducing cancer-causing emissions. In their regularly released Fuel Trends Reports, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically states that “ethanol’s high-octane value has allowed [oil] refiners to significantly reduce the aromatic content of the gasoline.” The present study finds that this may lead to diminished cancer risk through an altered cellular epigenetic landscape. The higher the ethanol blend, the more reduction that occurs.

“Cancer touches the lives of nearly everyone in some way,” said Ashley Christensen, director of development at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. “We appreciate that Nebraska fuel retailers are joining forces to empower drivers to support cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, which provides lifesaving care to people throughout our state. Through generous contributions, such as the Fuel the Cure campaign, we are able to fund researchers working on new treatments each and every day.”

Drivers will be able to identify which retailers are supporting this important cause by looking for pink signage at the pump, on the windows and at the counter.

E15 (15% ethanol and 85% gasoline), also called Unleaded88, is approved for use in all passenger vehicles 2001 and newer. Ethanol blends higher than 15% are approved for use in flex fuel vehicles. One in seven Nebraskans drive a flex fuel vehicle, which can run on any blend of ethanol up to E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline). Drivers can check their owners’ manuals to see if they’re driving flex fuel vehicles. The vehicles may also have a flex fuel badge on the trunk or tailgate — or a yellow gas cap.

“Through this annual ‘Fuel the Cure’ promotion, we’re helping put an end to cancer through contributions to life-saving research and through the promotion and usage of ethanol,” said Jay Reiners, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Juniata. “Ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel that naturally boosts octane, replacing added toxic chemicals known to cause cancer. Additionally, higher blends of ethanol can save consumers money, so it’s truly the smart choice at the pump.”

The Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board, and Renewable Fuels Nebraska sponsor Fuel the Cure in conjunction with retail stations.

The Nebraska Corn Board is a state funded agency funded through a ½-cent-per-bushel checkoff on all corn marketed in the state. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities. Checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research, promotion and education.

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.

Renewable Fuels Nebraska (RFN) is the trade association for Nebraska’s ethanol industry. RFN is a resource for advocating for policy that ensures the growth and expansion of the nation’s second largest renewable fuels industry through advocacy, market access and public awareness.

Nebraska Ethanol Board Sept. 1 Board Meeting To Be Held In Lincoln

Fluid Quip Technologies will be the featured speaker for the upcoming Nebraska Ethanol Board meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 1. Maximized Stillage Co-products™ (MSC) extracts protein from the whole stillage that remains after ethanol processing and makes a 50 percent protein feed for pets, fish, dairy cows, poultry and swine. Multiple ethanol plants across the Midwest already use this technology. Presenters will discuss MSC success in the market, how the technology can diversify a plant’s revenue stream, and will highlight best practices for selecting technology additions to the base biofuel plant. 

Nebraska Ethanol Board will host its meeting in Lincoln at 9 a.m. at Hyatt Place (600 Q Street). The agenda is as follows:

  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of June 9, 2021, Board Meeting Minutes
  4. Public Opportunity for Questions, Comments or Concerns
  5. Husker Motorsports presentation
  6. Budget Report
  7. Fuel Retailer Update
  8. Nebraska Corn Board Update
  9. E30 Demonstration Update
  10. Approval of Contracts
  11. Marketing Programs
  12. Dues & Memberships
  13. Funding Requests
  14. Renewable Fuels Nebraska Update
  15. NEB-hosted Conferences & Events
  16. Working Lunch
  17. Fluid Quip Technologies presentation
  18. State and Federal Legislation
  19. Ethanol Plant Reports
  20. Chair’s Report
  21. Administrator’s Report
  22. Travel Reports and Authorization
  23. Personnel
  24. Executive Session, if deemed necessary
  25. Next Meeting Date
  26. Adjourn

This agenda contains all items to come before the Board except those items of an emergency nature.

Nebraska Ethanol Board meetings are open to the public and also published on the public calendar.

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 www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.