When people call Kristy Moore and ask her what she’s doing, she usually answers, “I’m just sitting around changing the nation’s fuel, and I might take a nap after lunch.”
Moore is the Renewable Fuels Association‘s Vice President for Technical Services and she is totally focused on helping the ethanol industry, fuel retailers and consumers make the move to 15% ethanol blended fuel under the EPA waiver that has approved the use of E15 in 2001 and newer model vehicles. “Those vehicles represent 65% of the vehicles on the road today, but more importantly, 82% of the vehicle miles traveled,” she noted during her remarks at the National Ethanol Conference. “What that means is those are the vehicles that are filling up and refilling with fuel on a more frequent basis.”
The recent acceptance by EPA of the health effects testing that now allows retails to register for approval to sell E15. “We are proud to say that to date we have ten E15 registrations sitting on EPA’s desk waiting for their processing,” said Moore.
The next step in getting E15 to consumers is the formulation of a misfueling mitigation plan and Moore says RFA spent six months working on a plan to assure EPA that they will teach retailers how to offer the fuel and make sure that it gets into the right vehicles. That plan has now been submitted to the agency and RFA is continuing work on how the fuel offering will be implemented on the state level. “We’re going to take our E15 retailer handbook to the marketplace where it will walk them through how to meet the regulatory requirements on a the federal and state level so they can focus on consumer needs and growing this market in a safe, profitable manner.”
The founder and president of a world leader in ethanol plant engineering and construction is the recipient of the 2012 Renewable Fuels Association Membership Award.
Dave Vander Griend founded ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas in 1995 and developed it into the industry leader for the design, construction, and support of ethanol plants. Presenting the award, RFA chairman Chuck Woodside of KAAPA Ethanol noted the important role that Vander Griend has played in “helping ethanol producers improve efficiencies, develop new technologies and product streams and increase profitability” and adding that “his commitment to the industry is unquestionable and his passion for innovation seems limitless.”
Accepting the award, Vander Griend thanked RFA for working tirelessly for the ethanol industry. “This is not about what one guy can do but what can be accomplished when a whole lot of people work together,” he said. “What we’re doing here is an exceptionally unique thing that has been a blessing to agriculture, worked well to improve the price of grain and the opportunities for agriculture and what we continue to have is the opportunity to extend this quality product to improve the quality of the air for people in urban America.”
Vander Griend is pictured here receiving the award from RFA president Bob Dinneen (left) and Woodside.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack expressed his personal strong support and gratitude for the ethanol industry during an address at the National Ethanol Conference on Friday.
“We owe ethanol producers in this country a debt of gratitude because we’re paying less at the pump because of what you do,” Vilsack said, noting that prices are about $1 less than they would be without ethanol.
Vilsack also thanked ethanol producers for providing jobs, contributing to a record trade surplus in agriculture and helping to increase net farm income. “In 2011, net farm income for the first time exceeded $100 billion,” he said. “Even adjusted for inflation, this is the best farm economy we’ve seen in four decades and one of the principal reasons is because you all have figured out this new value-added opportunity called renewable fuels.”
Vilsack said he was pleased with the action taken by EPA to allow registration of E15. “If we’re worried about the Straits of Hormuz, if we’re worried about Iran, one way we can be less stressed about this is getting E15 in the tanks of cars across this country,” he said.
E15 is important to Secretary Vilsack, but so is maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard. “Make no mistake about this. Just because it’s in the law doesn’t mean it will always be in the law.” Vilsack says the success of the ethanol industry has gotten the attention of the oil industry which is trying to modify or eliminate the RFS. “We need to make sure we maintain the Renewable Fuel Standard. It is important to the security of this country that we move toward that 36 billion gallon mark.”
I also did a very quick interview with the Secretary, asking his outlook for the ethanol industry and the importance of maintaining the RFS. Listen to or download that interview here: Secretary Tom Vilsack interview
Here are the 2012 National Ethanol Conference Scholarship winners. In the photo with leaders from the Renewable Fuels Association are Olumoye Ajao, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal; Vinay Patel, Troy University; Anahita Eckard, South Dakota State University; Ted Elverson, South Dakota State University; Hunter Flodman, University of Nebraska; Jason Levar, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and Karen Lewis, Arizona State University. Not pictured is Yi Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
I asked each of them to tell me about themselves and why they wanted to attend the National Ethanol Conference and what they hoped to take away from the experience. I think you’ll find their answers interesting. Perhaps there are some future industry leaders in this group!
Futurist Dr. James Canton says the biggest national security risk today is what he calls the “Petro-Risk” – and only biofuels hold the key to alleviating that risk.
“Clearly, biofuels are the future,” Canton said Thursday at the opening session of the 17th annual National Ethanol Conference. “For all intents and purposes, there’s not an alternative energy that’s non-CO2 that is ready today other than biofuel and the only biofuel that can scale and give us the energy we need is ethanol.”
Canton told the ethanol industry to get ready for “the battle for the barrel” and consider a bolder future that includes a complete biofuels infrastructure. “You have to vertically and horizontally integrate to create the next energy grid, the next vehicles – a complete infrastructure,” he said.
Canton, founder of the Institute for Global Futures, says advanced biofuels will protect America’s future economy and security. “Think different, think big,” he says. “This petro-risk is going to continue and we need to be ready. Petro-risk is geopolitical suicide.”
Hello from the 2012 National Ethanol Conference. At approximately 8:10am eastern time we’ll be broadcasting live the State of the Industry Address from Bob Dinneen, President/CEO or the Renewable Fuels Association. Just click on the player below to start the broadcast in your browser. We will record the address and post the recorded version afterward.
Post Update: Thanks to all who tuned in to our live broadcast. Here is the recording (started couple moments late). I’m adding the full audio for you to listen to shortly.
Renewable Fuels Association Chairman, Chuck Woodside (pictured right), CEO KAAPA Ethanol LLC, provides a look at the 2012 National Ethanol Conference in a short interview I conducted with him this morning just prior to the annual golf tournament. Chuck says there will be a lot of optimism and discussion about E15. In fact, he sees E15 as a big focus here and for the rest of this year.
The 2012 National Ethanol Conference is ready to go at the Gaylord Palms near Orlando, FL. Your Domestic Fuel team will be on location once again. I got in this afternoon and Cindy gets in late tomorrow.
We’ll be bringing you the sights and sounds of the conference and stories where and when we find them. Right now we’re planning to live stream opening comments from Renewable Fuels Association President/CEO, Bob Dinneen on Thursday morning. More on that to come.
The 59th Speaker of the House, who played an active role in the development of current energy policy, spoke about leadership and the importance of the nation’s energy security during an appearance at the GROWMARK, FS System “Gold Rush” event in East Peoria, Illinois to introduce re-formulated Dieselex Gold.
Dennis Hastert, a native of Illinois, told the group that growing up on a farm taught him the responsibility and leadership that helped serve him well in public life. He spoke of being an “accidental Speaker” and becoming a “war-time Speaker” after 9/11.
When asked by a member of the audience about energy policy, Hastert was adamant about the importance of renewable fuels and ethanol in particular. “We need to use ethanol,” he said. “I fought for ethanol from the time that I was in Congress for 15 years and finally got through the Ways and Means Committee along with a guy named Nussle from Iowa and we got ethanol with the tax credits so it could be a viable product. If we sit back and don’t do anything about it, we’re going to lose it.”
Last year, more than 1,250 industry leaders attended the NEC, representing 42 states and 19 countries and at least as many, likely more, will be there this year at the preeminent conference for delivering accurate, timely information on marketing, legislative and regulatory issues facing the ethanol industry.
In this edition of “The Ethanol Report,” Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen gives us a preview of what to expect at the conference this year – including speakers, panels, topics and networking opportunities.
The event starts Tuesday with the annual golf tournament and a networking trip to Kennedy Space Center, with the welcome reception that evening. More information about the program can be found on-line at NationalEthanolConference.com. On-site registration for the event will be open starting Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm.
Domestic Fuel will be at the National Ethanol Conference providing start to finish coverage, including live webcast of Bob Dinneen’s State of the Industry address at 8:10 am Eastern on Thursday, February 23, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s address at 8:20 am on Friday, February 24.