COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Grand Island’s Bosselman Enterprises was recognized Tuesday during President Trump’s visit to a Council Bluffs ethanol plant, where he announced the year-round sale of E15 fuel.
Trump made his announcement at the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy ethanol plant, or SIRE, which produces about 110 million gallons of ethanol each year.
As part of the president’s address, Randy Gard, Bosselman chief operating officer, addressed the audience to talk about the company’s more than three decades of leadership in the Nebraska ethanol industry. Gard is also a member of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.
Also in attendance were Charlie Bosselman and Brandi Bosselman, owners of Bosselman Enterprises.
Bosselman’s is a family organization in its fourth generation and has expanded across the nation in 23 states, with more than 1,400 employees.
Charlie Bosselman said he was excited to hear Trump’s support for ethanol.
Before the president’s announcement, E15, which is fuel with a 15% blend of ethanol, could only be marketed from Sept. 16 through April 30. A new EPA rule allows E15 to be sold all year long.
The vast majority of the ethanol sold in Nebraska contains a 10% blend of ethanol.
“What this means for our company is that we are going to continue forward offering up E15 and extended blends of ethanol at more of our locations,” Bosselman said. “That is one of the critical things we are into right now. You are going to see more and more of it as we grow that whole footprint across the state of Nebraska.”
He said the company has about 20 Pump & Pantry locations that offer extended ethanol blends from 10 percent ethanol to 85 percent ethanol.
In December 2018, Bosselman’s added two new extended ethanol pumps to Pump & Pantry locations in Grand Island that included E15.
Bosselman Enterprises is Nebraska’s largest retailer of E15 and one of the Midwest’s largest blenders of renewable fuels. The company was one of the early supporters of E15 by adding infrastructure at multiple locations to allow consumers a choice in their fueling needs. The company recently announced that it is adding two new locations among its Pump & Pantry stores selling E15 and higher blends of ethanol.
“It offers our customers more options,” Bosselman said. “In any situation in retail, you want to offer your customers more options for the different blends of ethanol.”
He said more of their Pump & Pantry stores will be selling E15 as the company expands its new BossFuel products, which includes its new Super Unleaded 87, the E15 fuel.
E15 was approved by the EPA for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs), and all flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) in 2012.
Last year. Bosselman Enterprises celebrated its 75th anniversary.
“We saw the validity of ethanol a long time ago, and it will continue to expand and grow, and we will be a part of it,” Bosselman said.
He said the company appreciated being recognized during Trump’s announcement.
“It (ethanol) has been something that has been important to us for years and will continue to be,” Bosselman said.
He said he was impressed with Trump’s commitment to ethanol.
Ethanol is a billion-dollar enterprise in Nebraska. The state’s 25 ethanol plants use more than 700 million bushels of corn per year. They also produce more than 6.4 million metric tons of distillers grains, a high-protein feed ingredient used for cattle.
Along with domestic use, Nebraska ethanol and distillers grain are leading export goods to the state’s international trading partners.
According to the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the state’s 25 ethanol plants represent a $5 billion economic impact in the state.
Nebraska is the nation’s second-leading producer of ethanol behind Iowa, with a production capacity of more than 2 billion gallons.
“This will help farmers and people in Nebraska and the Midwest,” Bosselman said. “He (Trump) seems to be all for it. That makes a lot of people happy.”
With the announcement, Bosselman and other fuel suppliers will now be increasing the amount of ethanol fuel they purchase and sell. That will amp up demand, thus providing an additional value-added market for Nebraska farmers, who last year produced more than 1.8 billion bushels of corn.
And it offers savings to consumers as E15 sells, on average, 5 cents cheaper than E10, providing consumers accumulated savings over a year.
“That is all the more gallons of ethanol used that will help out the farmers and help out the Midwest,” Bosselman said. “It is a plus all the way around.”