Fuel retailers, drivers raise thousands for local cancer center

By Nebraska Ethanol Board | December 18, 2019

In the past two years, fuel retailers across Nebraska have joined forces to raise more than $13,000 for cancer research as part of Fuel the Cure. During October, when drivers chose higher blends of ethanol fuel like E15, E30 and E85 at participating retail locations, gas stations donated 3 cents for each gallon sold. The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha received $6,190.47 and the June E. Nylen Cancer Center received $500, thanks to a generous match from Siouxland Ethanol.

“Donations to cancer research truly make a difference,” said Jenn Klein, a wife, mother, and breast cancer survivor. “I’m thankful funding was available to discover treatment before I needed it or I might not be here today.” 

When Klein was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32, her cancer cells were growing and dividing at a rate of about 80 percent. Treatment was needed immediately. A funded researcher discovered two of the four chemotherapy treatments she underwent.

While biofuels and cancer research may seem like an unlikely pairing, studies shows that using more biofuels leads to less air pollution. According to the American Lung Association, up to 70 percent of ground-level ozone-forming pollutants come from mobile-source emissions.

Chemicals in gasoline are the same carcinogens found in tobacco, which are linked to cancer. Higher blends of biofuels dilute the toxicity and help reduce cancer-causing aromatics released from tailpipe emissions. Ethanol-blended fuels also reduce greenhouse gases by 42 percent.

“Fuel retailers know that regular and premium gasoline is harmful to the air we breathe. By making higher ethanol blends available, they are empowering consumers to help make a difference. Supporting Fuel the Cure is a step beyond because the funds are directly impacting lives of patients at the Cancer Center,” said Roger Berry, administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “Presently, we are dependent on fuel to get around while we work toward a better solution. By choosing higher blends of ethanol in the fuel we put in our cars, we can all do more toward creating a healthier environment now and for the future.”

Drivers who choose ethanol at the pump often see a price break, and their use of ethanol supports Nebraska farmers and the economy. To find a location near you, visit getbiofuel.com.

E15, also called Unleaded 88, is approved for use in all passenger vehicles 2001 and newer. One in seven Nebraskans are driving a flex fuel vehicle, which can run on any blend of American Ethanol up to E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). Drivers can check their owner’s manual to see if they’re driving a flex fuel vehicle. The vehicle might also have a flex fuel badge on the trunk or tailgate — or a yellow gas cap.

While 2019 Fuel the Cure has ended, the Nebraska Ethanol Board is already preparing for next year’s event and would encourage Nebraska fuel retailers who are interested in participating to reach out.

“We continue to see the number of fuel retailers in Nebraska offering E15 increase, and we are going to continue educating fuel retailers and the public to make the option more easily accessible,” Berry said. “The more higher ethanol blends we make available to drivers, the bigger the impact we are making.”

The Nebraska Corn and Ethanol boards, along with Renewable Fuels Nebraska, sponsor Fuel the Cure in conjunction with retail stations. To see the full list of stations that donated funds, visit www.fuelthecure.pink.