Ethanol brings major benefits

Source: By Troy Bredenkamp, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Nebraska’s ethanol industry supports the Nebraska Environmental Trust’s (NET) recommendation to fully fund the Green Plains, Inc. and Nebraska Department. of Environment and Energy grant application aimed at incenting higher ethanol blender pumps at retail locations across Nebraska.

The environmental and health benefits of ethanol is undeniable. USDA has reported that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 39%. It also reduces CO2 by 35%, particulate matter by 41%, and ozone by 22%. Additionally, ethanol replaces cancer-causing aromatics in gasoline such as benzene, toluene and xylene. Simply put, an increase in ethanol at Nebraska gas pumps gives Nebraskans cleaner air to breathe.

The recent emergence of COVID-19 adds urgency to seizing opportunities to implement ethanol, as one study found that persons living in areas with higher air pollution are more likely to die from COVID-19. We can reduce air pollution that increases the risk of health complications through the widespread use of ethanol.

To clarify, only fuel retailers from across Nebraska will receive grant dollars, and they are required to match grant funds with their own financial investment in the installation of ethanol blender pumps.

It is unfortunate that this grant application has been thrust into what appears to be a larger issue regarding NET grant funding focus and processes. The fact remains that ethanol will help NET reach its goals for our environment, while improving the quality of life for all Nebraskans.

Troy Bredenkamp, Lincoln

Executive director, Renewable Fuels Nebraska