Todd Sneller, head of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, says the report covers a five-year period, from 2010 to 2014, and shows renewable fuels are vital to the state’s economic engine.
“Ethanol production continues to be a very important part of the Nebraska economy,” Sneller says. “It has a very important impact year-to-year and that impact can be significantly higher than it was in 2014, depending on the value of the primary products coming from the ethanol plant.”
The report shows there are 1,300 people employed in the ethanol industry statewide at an average wage that is 21-percent higher than the state’s average manufacturing wage. Sneller says many of those are good quality jobs that are located in smaller communities.
“Quality jobs in rural parts of the state are especially important,” Sneller says. “I think many states understand and appreciate that but particularly those of us who work in states where we have communities of 500 people, for example, where 50 jobs have been created, those jobs are averaging wage rates approaching $60,000 a year. Those are really very important and those dollars contribute to the local and state economy.”
Sneller says the results of this study prove that the Renewable Fuel Standard is a critical part of the country’s federal public policy.
There are 24 ethanol plants in Nebraska that produce a total of more than two-billion gallons each year. Nebraska is the nation’s #2 producer of corn-based ethanol, behind only Iowa.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton