American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Executive Vice President Brian Jennings began his opening remarks to a standing room only crowd at this year’s 29th annual Ethanol Conference. The excitement was high. Why? Because as Jennings put so succinctly, his passion for promoting ethanol is contagious. And indeed it is.
Jennings stressed that when everyone works together, the industry is stronger, something ACE founder Merle Anderson understood when he led the effort to form ACE back in 1987. “He understood what the ‘politics of addition’ mean, and why we needed a grassroots voice in support of ethanol.”
ACE has the strongest grassroots voice in the country and their Power to People campaign is a great example of how in touch ACE is with the consumers who purchase the industry’s homegrown products.
“That’s what ACE’s Power by People campaign is about – putting a human face on ethanol – making connections with people on their terms; appealing to people’s hearts in addition to their minds,” said Jennings who added that people don’t make decisions on facts and data alone, but emotion and feelings play a huge role. “And it goes beyond having a message that’s persuasive to both the left and right side of the brain. If we want to influence the public opinions that inform political decisions, we also need to think about our audience and have the right messenger deliver the right message.”
Jennings also highlighted the big need to fix the RVP problem, nationally, that keeps E15 from being sold during summer months. He said this must be overcome if the industry is to pave the way for even higher blends. He also stressed the need to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on track so RIN values will continue driving demands for flex fuels. Yesterday was the 11th Anniversary of the RFS being signed into law and noted that ACE was the first organization to support the RFS and ACE’s President of the Board at the time, Bob Scott, was invited by the White House to take part in the signing.
Another topic Jennings discussed was ethanol’s octane value as a leading demand driver in the future. He cited the growing number of technical studies demonstrating that a high-octane fuel with upwards of 20-30 percent ethanol improve fuel efficiency and reduces carbon emissions in advanced engine technologies.
In closing, Jennings reminded attendees that the November election is only a few short months away. While he didn’t touch on the Presidential campaign, he did stress: “As candidates stump for your vote, whether Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton or Ron Johnson and Russ Feingold, or whoever, please hold them accountable on our priorities.”
Listen to Brian’s full opening presentation here: Brian Jennings, ACE, Opening Presentation