The National Farmers Union is pleased with the announcement that the U-S Department of Agriculture is expanding an effort to invest in biofuel infrastructure. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack’s goal is to install 100,000 flex fuel pumps throughout the U-S in the next five years. Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hanson says this is exactly what Nebraska needs.
“Nebraska is the second largest producer of ethanol in the nation. We have a vested interest in helping expand the flex fuel marketing and infrastructure so that when consumers of fuel drive into a fuel station they have the option of putting higher grades of ethanol in their flex fuel vehicle.”
Hansen says this has already been done in South Dakota with great success.
“The state of South Dakota in the last two and a half years have gone from about 100 of these kinds of blender pumps to over 600 in a very short time because of the way they have already utilized stimulus dollars to do that. So, we have model states that have already tried it. It is working. Consumers are pleased. Ethanol utilization has increased.”
Hansen says he entire state will benefit.
“New federal initiative should help Nebraska grow our infrastructure and is good for our economy. It creates jobs and stimulates economic activity and in the long run it helps Nebraskans to use our home grown fuel.”
The initiative is a result of funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and may be used for eligible transportation projects. Hansen says now time will be spent evaluating how best to use the funds.
“Now I suspect there will be a lot of time spent going through the details of this effort to figure out by our Nebraska Energy Office and other state energy offices just how this works and what dollars are available and what can be used, all the details and administrative process necessary to be able to utilize these dollars.”