July 31, 2023

Ricketts co-sponsors flex fuel bill, discusses with ethanol industry leaders in Minden

News Channel Nebraska

MINDEN, Neb. — One of Nebraska’s U.S. Senators is pushing legislation designed to benefit the ethanol industry.

Pete Ricketts is co-sponsor of the Flex Fuel Fairness Act, which was introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota on Thursday. The bill would give car manufacturers 31% credit towards their federal government carbon scores by making flex-fuel vehicles.

“It assumes that you’re using at E85, which reduces your carbon output by 31%, and so that’s why the manufacturers would get credit for that. This will help them hit their goals that the EPA is setting,” Ricketts said.

Ricketts shared details of the bill with leaders of KAAPA Ethanol at the company’s Minden plant on Monday. He supports the ethanol industry because of its environmental benefit and its importance to the Nebraska economy.

Scott McPheeters was among those touring the plant with Ricketts. He serves on the state ethanol board and says ethanol has a nearly $5 billion impact on the local economy.

“It’s huge. It’s a big employer,” McPheeters said. “Of course, it makes farmers grow corn because there’s a market for it. So, it puts people to work.”

The bill is a response to President Joe Biden’s goal of having zero-emission vehicles make up 50% of light-duty vehicle sales by 2030. Ricketts thinks the administration’s focus on electric vehicles is narrow-minded.

“Let us innovate. Let the industry come up with solutions, like flex-fuel vehicles, and give consumers choices,” Ricketts said. “It’s a better way to actually achieve the goal of reducing carbon emissions.”

The bill will be discussed in the Environment and Public Works Committee, which Ricketts sits on. He says it will need to be attached to a bigger bill in order to pass through the Senate.


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