Local View: Let Nebraska ethanol power your summer
By Governor Pete Ricketts & Dave Merrell
With the passing of the Memorial Day holiday, the summer driving season is in full swing. Many families across the state will be hitting the road for vacations, county fairs and summer sports events.
You have likely noticed prices at the pump have climbed. Thankfully, motorists in Nebraska have lower-priced options that are good for their tanks, good for the environment and good for Nebraska.
During May, we celebrated Renewable Fuels Month in Nebraska. Throughout the month, we highlighted the benefits of the clean-burning ethanol industry, and we have had great conversations with consumers through social media, various pump promotions across the state and American Ethanols sponsorship of the Lincoln Marathon.
We have a great story to tell about Nebraska-produced, quality biofuels that provide lower-cost options for consumers, support a clean environment and create job opportunities in our state.
Ethanol is a less expensive, consumer-friendly option. E-10, the most common 10 percent ethanol blend, costs much less than premium gasoline. The more ethanol blended into your gasoline, the greater the discount.
President Trump recently announced his support for approving the sale of E-15, a 15 percent ethanol blend, all year long, and we will continue to work with the administration as they implement the presidents directive. Year-round E-15 means more people can enjoy the benefits of higher ethanol blends. In addition to being less expensive, corn ethanol is a natural octane booster, which allows for greater efficiency, horsepower and speed.
Because ethanol is an alcohol, it helps prevent the buildup of oil-based grimes as it burns through your vehicle. As you look at options available at your pump, check out gaspumpr.org, which offers a calculator to determine the greatest value among American ethanol products.
Ethanol is improving the environment and is making our air cleaner. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent on average compared to petroleum. By producing and using ethanol on a global scale, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 110 million metric tons, which is comparable to erasing the emissions of 20 million vehicles each year.
Additionally, the American Lung Association has recognized corn ethanol as a clean air fuel choice. By blending ethanol into gasoline, we are reducing toxic tailpipe emissions such as benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX), which are carcinogenic and are added to gasoline to boost octane.
Locally produced ethanol helps create jobs. Nebraska is the second largest ethanol-producing state in the nation. Last year, Nebraska had the capacity to produce over 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol. This giant capacity helps the ethanol industry as it directly employs over 1,300 Nebraskans and indirectly supports many more jobs.
These opportunities are created by what we call the Golden Triangle, a phrase we use to describe the strength, synergies and proximity between our corn, livestock and ethanol industries. Each of these sectors work together to maximize resources to bring quality products to Nebraskans and create opportunities across the state.
This summer, we hope you make a point of exploring options at the pump, and take advantage of our quality, locally-produced ethanol. As you hop into your vehicle this summer, or as you fire up your lawn mowers or boats, remember to look for the American Ethanol logo. Choosing ethanol is a good choice for our family budgets, for cleaner air and for growing Nebraska.
Pete Ricketts is Nebraska’s 40th governor. Dave Merrell is chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board.