The state of the U.S. ethanol industry is still strong, despite significant challenges, according to Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association.
“Some look at what we’re up against and see “an industry in crisis.” I look at what we’re up against and see an industry with the perseverance and determination to succeed,” said Dinneen in his annual address this morning at the National Ethanol Conference in San Antonio.
Dinneen outlined the accomplishments of the industry in the past year, including record production at more than nine billion gallons, economic growth of 34 percent, another 240,000 jobs, and 85 percent operating capacity despite recent plant closures.
Acknowledging the challenges facing the industry, Dinneen called for unity – both in the United States ethanol business and internationally. “Our industry must reject division and approach the challenges that face us all with the same spirit of cooperation, dedication and vigor that has always served us well,” he said. Dinneen also announced that the national ethanol trade associations of Canada, Europe and the United States are joining together in a Global Alliance to educate and promote ethanol in international forums.
You can listen to Bob’s speech here: [audio:http://www.ethanolrfa.org/ethanolreport/audio/nec09-dinneen-open.mp3]
At about 1800, attendance at the National Ethanol Conference is down less than organizers expected compared to last year, and those who are at the meeting continue to be optimistic about the future of the industry.