June 21, 2024

Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column: Celebrating Nebraska Biofuels

June 21, 2024

June marks the start of a busy summer driving season. This year, many American families are feeling the pain of prices at the pump. Since Joe Biden took office, gas prices have risen over 54%.Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel are one solution to relieve that burden. That’s why I’ve fought as governor and senator to make biofuels more available to American drivers year-round. Earlier this year, I asked for the administration to allow the summer sale of E15 nationwide. That request was granted. 

Biofuels like ethanol are good for Nebraska and good for America. They save consumers money at the pump. They reduce our impact on the environment. They support rural communities and farmers. They also lessen our energy dependence on foreign adversaries.

In Nebraska alone, drivers saved at least $325 million last year by using blends of E10 and above. During the busy summer months, consumers can save more than 30 cents per gallon. Personally, I saved 55 cents per gallon when I filled up this week. That’s real relief at this time of stubbornly high inflation. Owners of flex fuel vehicles (FFVs), which can run on blends up to E85, can save even more. Biofuels also support Nebraska’s farmers and rural communities. Our state is the second-largest producer of ethanol. Nebraska’s 24 ethanol plants support over 1,000 high-paying jobs in our state. They have capacity to produce nearly 2.2 billion gallons each year. The Nebraska Soybean Board found Nebraska’s biodiesel industry supports over 5,000 full-time jobs and has an $833 million economic impact.

Relying on domestically produced energy is also good for American energy security. By expanding ethanol use, we not only support American jobs, but also rely less on oil from countries like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. Countries that hate us shouldn’t be our source for fuel when we have a home-grown solution like ethanol. Biofuels are also good for our environment. According to the USDA, ethanol use reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 44-52% compared to gasoline.

Despite these many benefits, the Biden administration has overlooked and underestimated biofuels. Instead, Washington bureaucrats prefer delusional EV mandates. To fight this, I’m working to expand opportunities for Nebraska producers. I introduced the bipartisan Flex Fuel Fairness Act to expand access to FFVs and protect consumer choice. I am leading the bipartisan Congressional Review Act legislation to block the Biden EV mandate.

In addition to fighting the EV mandate, I’m also building support for biofuels. I introduced the bipartisan Renewable Fuels for Ocean-Going Vessels Act to expand the use of biofuels on ships. I led bipartisan resolutions designating May as Renewable Fuels Month each of the last two years. I am also supporting Senator Deb Fischer’s bill to make the year-round sale of E15 permanent. This would stop forcing producers and consumers to rely on bureaucratic waivers from the EPA. 

Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel are a win for our state and our country. Every day is a good day to choose biofuels. As you get ready to hit the road this summer, consider filling up on E15 to get you where you need to go.

My team and I are here to serve you. Contact us anytime by phone at 202-224-4224. You can also view my website atwww.ricketts.senate.gov/contact.