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Nebraska boosts economy with renewable fuels this May

Nebraska boosts economy with renewable fuels this May

By Scout Nelson

Nebraska designates May as Renewable Fuels Month, aligning with the start of the summer driving season. This period emphasizes the importance of renewable biofuels, which include ethanol and biodiesel, crucial for both the environment and the Nebraskan economy. Governor Jim Pillen officially marks the commencement of this significant month.

Ethanol stands as the third largest agricultural commodity in Nebraska, generating significant economic benefits. By using a 10% ethanol blend, Nebraskans save millions of dollars annually. In 2023, ethanol blends starting from E10 saved drivers at least $325 million.

Vehicles made in 2001 or later can use up to E15 ethanol blends, offering more savings at the pump. For those with flex-fuel vehicles, E85 blends are an option, providing even greater cost efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that ethanol blends can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 43% compared to regular gasoline. Biodiesel enhances the value of soybeans by 70 cents per bushel and contributes to lower animal feed costs due to increased soybean meal supply.

When used in heavy-duty diesel vehicles, biodiesel blends like B20 can reduce emissions significantly.

The renewable diesel sector is also expanding, with Clean Fuels Alliance America describing renewable diesel as a biomass-based diesel fuel that adheres to the same standards as traditional diesel but is produced from renewable resources. This fuel can be used across various transportation modes, including ground, rail, marine, and agricultural machinery.

The 2024 Nebraska Legislature has passed legislation offering tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production, using low-carbon, cost-effective feedstocks like corn and soybean oils. This move paves the way for ethanol to enter aviation, potentially reducing emissions from jets by over 50%.

As part of Renewable Fuels Month, tune into "Pure Nebraska" on Lincoln’s Channel 10/11 for special segments airing on May 6, 13, and 20. Fueled by Nebraska and the Nebraska Soybean Board encourage local communities, schools, and workplaces to engage in this eco-friendly celebration.

Photo Credit -shutterstock-dickgage

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Categories: Nebraska, Energy, Government & Policy

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