NEBRASKA -- Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation earlier this month, naming May as Renewable Fuels Month in the state of Nebraska. He is promoting ethanol usage in fuel. As drivers prepare for Memorial Day weekend, many wonder why they should care what type of gas they use.
One priority consideration is costs. Randy Williams, traveling to Kearney to see his daughter, is worried about how much he spends on the commodity. "I’m moderately concerned. I think the country is headed the wrong direction [with prices rising]," he said. He is worried prices will only continue to go up.
"[Prices] have skyrocketed making it harder," said another driver, Brandie Smith, of Norfolk. She worries COVID-19 exacerbates the issue, not to mention the Colonial Pipeline's obstruction, and the Dakota Pipeline's ending.
A secondary worry is safety. Hayley LeBeau was on her way back to Lousiana from South Dakota where she was picking up a corgi puppy. She said along the trip, she sometimes went out of her way to put non-ethanol gas in her car, hoping her engine would run better that way.
But, the Nebraska Corn Board disagrees that that's an issue. They even created this video to explain what the different pump options mean. In fact, the governor and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln conducted a study to argue that gas with 30% ethanol, or E-30 is safer for both cars and the earth. It studied 100 cars, seeing whether using E-30 affected mileage at all, which it didn't. Still, especially if you have an older car, ethanol might impact it.
Finally, Ricketts is hoping Nebraskans will be more energy-independent by switching to higher ethanol. In fact, 35% of Nebraska corn farmers' corn goes toward pumps.