On Friday afternoon May 18, Governor Pete Ricketts joined in celebrating Renewable Fuels Month during a ribbon-cutting event at Bosselman Travel Center in Grand Island. Access Ethanol Nebraska (AEN), a partnership of the Nebraska Energy Office and the US Department of Agriculture Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership were sponsors. AEN provided funding for six of the advanced ethanol blender pumps and one underground storage tank located at this site. State funding also contributed to this project came from the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the Nebraska Energy Office LB 581 — Cleaning-Burning Fuels program. At the event, Governor Ricketts pumped gas for motorists, highlighting the new flex fuel pumps now offering a variety of ethanol blends at Bosselman Travel Center along Interstate 80 in Grand Island.
Over 90 percent of all fuel in Nebraska is blended with locally-produced ethanol. This homegrown industry supports over 1,300 jobs across the state and 25 ethanol plants. The ethanol industry promotes higher prices for corn, soybeans, and other agricultural products as well, supporting the agriculture industry at large. In 2017, over 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol and nearly 6.4 million metric tons of distillers grains were produced in Nebraska.
With more than 1 billion gallons produced across the country, soy biodiesel is another important biofuel for Nebraska. Like ethanol, biodiesel burns cleaner than petroleum diesel, is locally produced, and helps our nation’s farmers. Biodiesel adds $0.74 per bushel to the value of soybeans, and the industry supports more than 60,000 U.S. jobs and $2.6 billion in wages.
“Nebraska’s ethanol industry is really a win for everyone,” said Dave Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from St. Edward. “By using ethanol, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting cancer-causing toxic chemicals from entering into our atmosphere, which makes our air cleaner to breathe. Additionally, we produce a locally-grown feed for our livestock industry.”
“Bosselman Enterprises is among several key marketing partners working with Nebraska biofuel producers to offer a wider range of cleaner-burning fuel products,” said Jan tenBensel, chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “This new infrastructure provides greater access to high performance renewable fuels at a lower cost to consumers. Consumers save money at the pump, the agricultural sector benefits from increased demand for ag products, our economy benefits from fuel cost savings, and we have more choices at the pump.”