Fuel Retailers and Drivers Raise Thousands for Local Cancer Center

Representatives from the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and Renewable Fuels Nebraska present the Fuel the Cure 2020 donations of $5,488.60 to the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.

In the past three years, fuel retailers across Nebraska have joined forces to raise more than $18,000 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. This year, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha received $5,488.60.

“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.” 

Jenn Klein

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.

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 42%.

“Fuel retailers who provide the choices of E15, E30 and E85 know regular and premium gasoline without ethanol is harmful to the air we breathe. By making higher ethanol blends available, they are empowering consumers to help in the effort of cleaner air. Supporting ‘Fuel the Cure’ is a step beyond because the funds are directly impacting lives of patients at the Cancer Center,” said Roger Berry, administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “By choosing higher blends of ethanol in the fuel we put in our cars, we can all do more toward creating a healthier environment now and for the future.”

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.

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.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board is already preparing for next year’s event and would encourage Nebraska fuel retailers who are interested in participating to reach out to Jessica Sodeke, Nebraska Ethanol Board program manager, at Jessica.sodeke@nebraska.gov for more information.

“We continue to see the number of fuel retailers in Nebraska offering E15 increase, and we are going to continue helping fuel retailers to make the option more easily accessible,” Berry said. “The greater the accessibility to higher ethanol blends we make available to drivers, the bigger the impact we are making.”

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.fuelthecure.pink.