Ethanol Board Wins Grant for E85 Outreach

January 14, 2008

The Nebraska Ethanol Board has been awarded a $55,000 grant for use in an E85 Outreach and Marketing program. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It is intended for use in flexible fuel vehicles. Nebraska currently has 38 E85 stations but more than 60,000 flexible fuel vehicles are operating in Nebraska. The E85 outreach and marketing program will be designed to expand the network of stations offering E85 in Nebraska.

Grant funds will support workshops to train ethanol producers, E85 distributors and marketers for the direct marketing of E85 from producers to local retailers. The one-day workshops will be offered on multiple dates and cover EPA ethanol storage requirements, fuel tax incentives, ethanol safety and handling training, and E85 marketing and brand awareness.

The project will be funded in part by a grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development administered by the Nebraska Rural Development Commission. The Clean Fuels Development Coalition, the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition and the Clean Fuels Foundation are providing matching funds and in-kind contributions for the project.

Ethanol has brought much in terms of jobs and wealth to Nebraska, said Todd Sneller, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. By encouraging direct relationships between ethanol producers and their communities, drivers get a cheaper fuel for their cars and the number of E85 pumps in Nebraska increases. This approach also increases ethanol demand in Nebraska. It’s a win-win strategy.

Doug Durante of the CFDC said that ethanol, a cheaper, cleaner alternative to gas, helps wean America off of foreign energy sources while strengthening local economies.

Many communities have a stake in their local ethanol plant. The E85 Outreach project funded by this grant award will encourage direct economic relationships that keep the wealth local, Durante said.

We look forward to a continued partnership with the Nebraska Ethanol Board to expand the infrastructure required to increase marketing of E85 across Nebraska, said Phil Lampert of the NEVC.