Compared to last year, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen faced a much happier crowd for the opening session of the 15th Annual National Ethanol Conference.
“A year ago, at this event, we met amidst the worst economic climate since the Depression. Commodity markets were in upheaval, investment dollars had evaporated, gasoline demand was falling, production costs were rising, plants were closing and the very foundation of our industry and our economy was shaking,” said Dinneen. “At that time, I summoned Winston Churchill to admonish you, ‘When you‟re going through hell, keep on going!'”
Dinneen was happy to report that the industry did persevere and survive, “And now, I can say, with confidence and conviction, that the state of the U.S. ethanol industry is strong,” he said.
Among the accomplishments for the industry, Dinneen noted 15% growth, reopening 14 plants that had been previously idled, starting up 8 new plants, and adding1.5 billion gallons of capacity. The ethanol industry contributed $53.3 billion to the economy, along with 400,000 jobs and reducing oil imports by 364 million barrels.
There is an online photo album started from the event for your viewing pleasure: 2010 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album