I spent the last few days with old friends and making new acquaintances here in Milwaukee during the 22nd Ethanol Conference & Trade Show hosted by the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE). While it was slightly disheartening to see the trend of low attendance at ethanol conferences, such as the Fuel Ethanol Workshop, during the past year, it was heartening to see the new faces and to learn about all the great things that are happening in the industry.
Brian Jennings, Executive Director of ACE, noted that there are seven major opportunities for the ethanol industry:
- 1. Policy Makers actually do get it.
- 2. Support for RFS2 and tax incentives are not going away.
- 3. The Age of Easy Oil is over.
- 4. The days of corn ethanol are only going to get better while the days of oil gets worse.
- 5. The President supports ethanol.
- 6. The science & politics support moving beyond the blend wall (above E10) is not a matter of if but when.
- 7. Blender pumps represent the future of pumps in this country. We’re not afraid of choice.
Jennings is correct in his assessment of the opportunities in the ethanol industry and on Tuesday, ACE, in conjunction with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) along with several state corn groups, announced BYOethanol, a three-year initiative to install 5,000 blender pumps across the country.
I had a great time and learned a lot and was re-energized about the future of the ethanol industry. I’ll see you in Kansas City next year! You can see photos from the conference in my Flickr photo album.