Kan. governor touts higher ethanol blends

Source: By Kansas Corn • Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Brownback calls for more availability of higher ethanol blends

GARNETT, Kan. — Governor Sam Brownback called for more availability of higher ethanol blends today at a fuel station promotion in Garnett. Sandra’s Quick Stop celebrated the addition of ethanol blender pumps that allow the station to offer E15, E30 and E85 ethanol fuels to its customers. The station used grant money from USDA and several Kansas groups to add the new pumps. Governor Brownback said ethanol plays an important role in the state’s economy and higher blends will build markets for the renewable fuel.

“One of the keys then is getting us higher blend ratios. I think our new administration, they should push to allow higher blend ratios, higher blends. We can do it, we can do it safely, we can do it well. This is homegrown, this is making America great again,” Gov. Brownback said. “Kansas is a great production state. . . We need markets here, and we need markets overseas.”

The fuel station is about a mile from the East Kansas Ethanol Agri Energy (EKAE) ethanol plant in Garnett. EKAE President and CEO Jeff Oestmann, a veteran, spoke about the importance of domestic fuels.

“I spent eleven years in the Marine Corps in various locations around the world, and I can tell you one thing, I would rather buy my fuel from the Midwest than the Middle East. So the concept of bringing our fuel from our plant to locations like this is very unique and I want to see a lot more of that as we go forward,” Oestmann said.

Speakers also included Robert White, Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations and Kansas Corn Commission CEO Greg Krissek. Staff from EKAE, RFA and Kansas Corn pumped ethanol fuel for customers and answered questions about ethanol blends.

The grant program that provided assistance to add the pumps is administered by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Several Kansas groups that support ethanol provided matching funds for the USDA Biofuels Infrastructure program through the Kansas Better Blends Initiative, providing $2.3 million in grant resources to Kansas fuel retailers who add ethanol blender pumps. The Kansas Corn Commission is implementing the program. The blender pump project is funded by the USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Grant and the Kansas Better Blends Initiative (KBBI). KBBI Partners: Kansas Department of Agriculture; Kansas Corn Commission; Renew Kansas; Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission; United Sorghum Checkoff Program and ICM, Inc.