Nebraska Celebrates Renewable Fuels Month this May

LINCOLN, Nebraska – Renewable Fuels Month highlights the importance of renewable biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, especially for Nebraskans. The month of May usually marks the beginning of the summer driving season, making it an ideal time to fuel up on clean and cost-saving biofuels.

Both biodiesel and ethanol help to decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil, boost our nation’s economy, and support thousands of jobs in rural communities.

Ethanol is the third largest Nebraska agriculture commodity, and the use of a 10% blend saves Nebraskans $275 million per year. Nebraska is also the second largest producer of ethanol in the country.

Biodiesel adds 70 cents per bushel to the value of soybeans. Increased demand for soybean oil to make biodiesel also increases the supply of soybean meal, leading to lower animal feed prices paid by poultry and livestock farmers. Biodiesel can reduce lifecycle emissions by 86% compared to petroleum-based diesel fuel. Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ethanol blends reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% compared to regular gasoline.

“Nebraska agriculture is well-positioned to greatly impact the country’s transition to be less carbon-intensive. While new technologies find their footing, corn and soybeans grown right here in Nebraska will continue to feed and fuel the world for a long time,” said Sherry Vinton, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. “Nebraska is blessed to not only have the land, the tools, and the natural resources for a thriving agriculture industry, but also the farmers and producers who continue to nurture the commodities that, over many decades, have made Nebraska what it is—an agriculture powerhouse. Please celebrate this hard work with us throughout May. Fill up with biofuels, save money, and tell others of the importance of renewable fuels to our state and communities.” 

Owners of vehicles 2001 and newer can safely use blends of ethanol up to E15 (15% ethanol) and will often enjoy significant savings per gallon. Owners of flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) can use blends up to E85 and experience even greater savings. Heavy-duty diesel vehicles can also lower emissions by filling up with biodiesel blends of 20% (B20) or higher. Find locations near you at biodieselne.com.

Fueled by Nebraska, a partnership of Nebraska biofuels organizations, and the Nebraska Soybean Board, invite you to join them to celebrate renewable fuels in your classrooms, at work, and in your community this May. Learn more and find ethanol retail locations at fueledbynebraska.com.

During Renewable Fuels Month, Fueled by Nebraska and the Nebraska Soybean Board will host giveaways, student contests, radio interviews, fuel promotions, and more. To participate, visit facebook.com/fueledbynebraska.

Important Renewable Fuels Month Dates

  • May 4: Gov. Jim Pillen will declare May as Renewable Fuels Month 
  • May 8, 15, 22, and 29: Tune into our weekly Renewable Fuels Month segment on Pure Nebraska with Jon Vanderford. Watch 10/11’s Pure Nebraska live weekdays from 9-9:30 a.m. and Sundays at 7:30 a.m.
  • May 17: Renewable Fuels Month student contest deadlines

Fueled by Nebraska is a partnership of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Nebraska Corn Board, and Renewable Fuels Nebraska to ensure strong markets for biofuels.

The Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one-half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold. Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

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Ethanol Forum in Omaha Invites National Speakers to Highlight Emerging Issues

Biofuels stakeholders and experts from across the nation will join the Nebraska Ethanol Board and Renewable Fuels Nebraska for the annual Ethanol: Emerging Issues Forum March 6-7, 2023, in La Vista, Nebraska, at the La Vista Conference Center. In its 17th year, the Forum serves newcomers to the ethanol industry and experienced professionals who want to hear about emerging markets, policy, and technology, and who want to connect with industry colleagues.

Newly-elected Governor of Nebraska Jim Pillen and Dr. Venus Welch-White, senior advisor to the Agricultural Advisor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will headline this two-day event, and highlight how Nebraska ethanol plays a role in agriculture, the economy, and sustainability. What does new state and federal legislation mean for sustainable aviation fuel; carbon capture, storage, and utilization; use of higher ethanol blends; and the Renewable Fuel Standard? The program covers it in the state, federal, and global policy discussions.
 
The Innovation Showcase highlights three carbon-reducing technologies and reviews the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) — a first-of-its-kind project in South Dakota to illuminate the path forward for climate-smart farming practices.

This year’s Forum also includes resources to learn about investing in decarbonization projects and infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Energy and USDA will review past, current, and future funding, while Advanced Resources International helps make economic sense of carbon marketing and shows ethanol producers how credits can stack up in their favor.
 
Registration and a detailed agenda are available at ethanol.nebraska.gov/events/emerging-issues-forum/. Nebraska ethanol producers, students, media, and Nebraska legislators are welcome to attend at no cost. See “registration type” for details or email jessica.sodeke@nebraska.gov with questions. Registration ends Feb. 26. 
 
The many successful years of the Ethanol: Emerging Issues Forum remain possible from the support of local and national sponsors. This year’s Signature sponsors include Bio Nebraska, Carbon America, Husch Blackwell, Kutak Rock, Navigator CO₂ Ventures, Novozymes, Summit Carbon Solutions, and WCR. Supporting sponsors include the American Coalition for Ethanol, CoBank, Fluid Quip Technologies, HMT, IFF, Pelican Energy, Phibro’s Ethanol Performance Group, Pivot Global Bioethanol Coalition, the Renewable Fuels Association, and USDA Rural Development. If you are interested in sponsoring this event in the future, contact amber.rucker@nebraska.gov.

Nebraska Ethanol Board Feb. 23rd Board Meeting to be held in Lincoln

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet in Lincoln at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. The meeting will be at Cornhusker Marriott (333 S. 13th St) in lower-level event room Arbor II. The agenda is as follows:

  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of Dec. 6, 2022, Board Meeting Minutes
  4. Public Opportunity for Questions, Comments or Concerns
  5. Budget Report
  6. Process Control Essentials & Process Hazard Analysis Training Updates
  7. Travel Reports and Authorization
  8. Fuel Retailer Update
  9. Nebraska Corn Board Update
  10. Renewable Fuels Nebraska Update
  11. Technical & Research Updates
  12. Marketing Programs
  13. NEB-hosted Conferences & Events
  14. Working Lunch
  15. State and Federal Legislation
  16. Ethanol Plant Reports
  17. Chair’s Report
  18. Executive Director’s Report
  19. Personnel
  20. Executive Session
  21. Next Meeting Date
  22. 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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Nebraska Fuel Stations and Drivers Raise $15K for Breast Cancer Research

In the past five years, fuel retailers across Nebraska have joined forces to raise more than $45,000 for cancer research as part of Fuel the Cure – a campaign that also educates others about healthier fuel options.

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. Ethanol is a natural, plant-based octane booster used to displace some chemicals in gasoline which have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and respiratory issues. Ethanol producers, including Siouxland Ethanol in Jackson and E-Energy in Adams, also donated to the cause. This year, Fuel the Cure raised $15,662.99 with donations going to the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha and Nebraska’s American Cancer Society.

“Several medications, whose research was funded through the American Cancer Society, saved my life,” said Jenn Klein, a wife, mother, and breast cancer survivor. “I’m thankful funding was available to discover treatment before I needed it. Beating cancer wasn’t easy, but we have come so far in regard to treatment, that I was not alone, and I had hope throughout.”

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 and her mother are breast cancer survivors.

Everyone is at risk of inhaling toxic chemicals, known as aromatics, used for octane in gasoline. These carcinogens make up 25% of a gallon of gas. You are exposed at the pump, from vehicle exhaust, and when these aromatics are released as greenhouse gases (GHG). According to Cancer.org, the link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and other cancers of blood cells. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says benzene causes cells not to work correctly. For example, it can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, causing anemia. Also, it can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells. Another major source of benzene exposure is tobacco smoke. Learn more about the health risks of the aromatics in gasoline at fueledbynebraska.com/pink.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies these chemicals as toxic air pollutants known to cause cancer, adverse reproductive effects, and other health issues. In 1978, the EPA’s Clean Air Act waiver allowed the use of 10 percent ethanol in gasoline to support efforts to reduce air pollution. The EPA still blends ethanol into the fuel supply to support these efforts. Ethanol is a natural, plant-based octane booster used to displace some of these chemicals which have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and respiratory issues. Overall, according to Harvard and Tufts universities, ethanol reduces GHG by nearly 50%. Choosing the right ethanol blend for your vehicle is important. Fueledbynebraska.com explains each blend and has a biofuel finder for locating retailers near you.

“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, communications and outreach 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 the lives of Nebraskans.”

Drivers who choose ethanol at the pump often see a price break, and their use of ethanol supports Nebraska’s rural communities and the state’s 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.

Fuel the Cure founders: Nebraska Ethanol Board; Nebraska Corn Board; and Renewable Fuels Nebraska, are already preparing for Fuel the Cure 2023 and would encourage Nebraska fuel retailers who sell higher ethanol blends to reach out to Jessica Sodeke, communications and outreach manager, at Jessica.sodeke@nebraska.gov for information about participating. Donations to the Buffett Cancer Center or American Cancer Society are also accepted from others interested in supporting this cause, including cancer organizations and ethanol facilities. Fuel the Cure sponsors the Lincoln Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk as well. To sign up to be a part of our 2023 walking team, please reach out to Sodeke.

Connie Lindstrom to Present Biofuels Benchmarking at Nebraska Ethanol Board’s December Meeting

The Nebraska Ethanol Board welcomes Connie Lindstrom, senior biofuels analyst at Christianson Benchmarking LLC., to present at its board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Lincoln.

Lindstrom will present on trends in Nebraska ethanol plant performance. The company specializes in Biofuels Benchmarking™, which allows ethanol plants to access a vast database of anonymized industry data, insights, and reports.

“By observing trends, decision-makers can set priorities and improve processes,” Lindstrom said. “Benchmarking information is key to managing risks, identifying opportunities and prioritizing resource use.”

A growing set of opportunities are emerging for Nebraska ethanol plants and agricultural producers, ranging from process optimizations to plant expansions and development of innovative co-product streams.

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet at 10 a.m. at Hyatt Place (600 Q Street) in meeting rooms I-III. The agenda is as follows:

  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Approval of Sept. 12, 2022, Board Meeting Minutes
  4. Public Opportunity for Questions, Comments or Concerns
  5. Presentation: Connie Lindstrom, senior biofuels analyst Christianson Benchmarking LLC
  6. Budget Report
  7. Fuel Retailer Update
  8. Nebraska Corn Board Update
  9. Renewable Fuels Nebraska Update
  10. Technical & Research Updates
  11. Marketing Programs
  12. Dues & Memberships
  13. NEB-hosted Conferences & Events
  14. Working Lunch
  15. State and Federal Legislation
  16. Ethanol Plant Reports
  17. Chair’s Report
  18. Administrator’s Report
  19. Travel Reports and Authorization
  20. Personnel
  21. Executive Session
  22. Election of Board Officers for 2023
  23. Next Meeting Date
  24. 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.