2006 will be remembered as the year ethanol came of age.
The Renewable Fuels Association put together a list of important events for ethanol in 2006:
January 1 – The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) takes effect. The program is implemented under the default guidelines as the full program is developed.
January 31 – During the State of the Union Address, President Bush declares, “America is addicted to oil.”
February 20-22 – National Ethanol Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
April 25 – President Bush addresses the Renewable Fuels Association and others in the renewable fuels industry at the Renewable Fuels Summit 2006.
May 5 – Gasoline refiners complete voluntary elimination of MTBE from the market.
May 25 – The nation’s 100th ethanol biorefinery opens in Iowa.
May 27 – The Indianapolis 500 runs on a 10 percent ethanol blend, representing the first change in fuel in more than 30 years. In 2007, the entire Indy Racing League, including the Indy 500, will run on 100 percent ethanol.
May 29 – The Renewable Fuels Association rings the opening bell on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York City.
August 8 – The Renewable Fuels Standard celebrates its one-year anniversary with no fewer than 29 new ethanol biorefineries under construction since the bill was passed.
September 9 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releases its proposed rule to fully implement the Renewable Fuels Standard.
October 10-12 – For the first time, three cabinet members and the President of the United States speak from the same stage about the importance of renewable fuels in America’s energy future.
November 14 – Big 3 automakers, General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler meet with President Bush and pledge to make half of new vehicles manufactured FFVs by the end of the decade.
December 9 – Mark “The Flying Farmer” Thomas is awarded his sixth IHRA Alcohol Funny Car World Championship running on 100 percent ethanol.
December 10 – Congress extends the tax credit offset on imported ethanol to January 1, 2009.
Expect more in 2007.