LINCOLN, Neb. – During an official proclamation ceremony on May 7, 2018, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts proclaimed the month of May as Renewable Fuels Month. Since 2006, the acting Nebraska governor has dedicated one month out of each year to recognize the importance of renewable biofuels to the state.
Currently, over 90% of all fuel in Nebraska, is blended with locally-produced ethanol. There are over 230,000 flex fuel vehicles in the state, which equates to roughly 1 in 7 Nebraska vehicles. In 2017, over 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol and nearly 6.4 million metric tons of distillers grains (livestock feed) were produced through Nebraska’s 25 ethanol plants. Over 1,300 people in rural Nebraska were directly employed by the industry with an average salary of more than $50,000.
“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’re 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.”
With more than 1 billion gallons being produced across the country, soy biodiesel is another important biofuel for Nebraska. Like ethanol, biodiesel is 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.
“As a Nebraska farmer, I feel a great amount of pride in the work we all do to provide our world with a safe and abundant supply of food, fuel and fiber,” said Tony Johanson, chairman of the Nebraska Soybean Board and farmer from Oakland. “We know we need ensure the sustainability of our planet, but how sustainable are we if we’re burning fossil fuels? By producing and using renewable fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, we were able to replace the need for 540 million barrels of imported crude oil and 2.9 million gallons of imported petroleum diesel in 2017. That’s significant.”
The 2018 Lincoln National Guard Marathon/Half Marathon kicked off Renewable Fuels Month on Sunday, May 6, 2018. The event was sponsored by American Ethanol, which used the event as a platform to engage with runners and spectators about the clean-air benefits of using ethanol. Renewable Fuels Month is being coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Ethanol Board and the Nebraska Soybean Board. Several educational events are being held during the month to promote renewable fuels. Four pump promotions will be held throughout the state in May. During these events, ethanol blends and biodiesel will be available at steep discounts. To learn more about these events, click here.