The state of Nebraska is set to conduct a study of the state's ethanol industry, after producers in the state and across the country have faced several challenging years.
Sen. Joni Albrecht, Thurston, introduced a resolution in the Nebraska Legislature to examine ethanol public policy in the state to include a look at state-level policy promoting ethanol production and use, as well as what other states do to promote the industry. The study will explore state and federal regulations potentially hindering the growth of Nebraska's industry.
The study also will explore current ethanol research in Nebraska to diversify and increase demand for ethanol produced in the state.
The Nebraska Legislature is slated to conduct a comprehensive review of policies affecting the industry, prior to the next legislative session. Lawmakers are expected to determine what if any changes are needed to enhance and promote the industry in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Natural Resources Committee will work with the Nebraska Ethanol Board to complete the study and report the findings and recommendations to the Nebraska Legislative Council ahead of the 2021 legislative session.
"The last several years have been a challenge for our industry with many policy decisions, both state and federal, impacting demand for Nebraska ethanol," Troy Bredenkamp, executive director of Renewable Fuels Nebraska, said in a news release.
"Add in the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on decreasing ethanol demand across the country, and it is easy to see the need for a study on one of Nebraska's most important industries."
Nebraska's ethanol industry ranks second in the country in total annual production capacity at about 2.6 billion gallons and generating more than $5 billion in economic activity. Four in 10 bushels of Nebraska corn is used by ethanol plants.
"While dealing with the current challenges, it is important to explore where this important industry is headed five, 10, 15 years from now," Bredenkamp said.
"The Nebraska ethanol industry is critical to the long-term health of Nebraska's rural economy."
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
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