Come March With ACE

One of the primary ways ACE has highlighted the benefits of the RFS is through our annual Biofuels Beltway March fly-in to Washington, D.C. The goal, writes Brian Jennings, is to demonstrate the breadth and depth of grassroots support for biofuels.
By Brian Jennings | February 13, 2015

"Traveling to Washington, D.C., and having the opportunity to meet and talk with members of Congress was quite an experience. Unfortunately there are leaders in our country who are unaware of the many benefits of renewable fuels and the positive effect ethanol has on not only the American farmer but also the country as a whole.”
-Kenton Johnson, Granite Falls, Minnesota

Kenton Johnson serves on the board of directors for three Minnesota ethanol plants; Bushmills Ethanol Inc., Granite Falls Energy LLC and Heron Lake BioEnergy LLC. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow ethanol supporters to promote the benefits of our industry to lawmakers during the 2014 Biofuels Beltway March.

The American Coalition for Ethanol was the first organization to endorse the idea of the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Our members provided the momentum essential for this proposal to eventually become law. Since the RFS was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Bush, ACE members like Kenton Johnson have also been proactive about showcasing how it has been a success.

One of the primary ways we’ve highlighted the benefits of the RFS is through our annual Biofuels Beltway March fly-in to Washington, D.C., occurring (wait for it) each March. Consider this your personal invitation to join Kenton and other ethanol advocates at our seventh annual fly-in, March 24 to 25.

The goal of ACE’s Biofuels Beltway March is to help you tell your personal ethanol story to decision makers in D.C. and demonstrate the breadth and depth of grassroots support for renewable fuels.  If you’ve taken part in previous ACE fly-ins, please join us again this year and encourage a colleague to come along. If you haven’t participated, there is no more important time to help protect your ethanol investment and see first-hand how your membership support of ACE makes a strong and positive difference inside the Beltway.

Nearly 80 people from all walks of life, including students, bankers, farmers and industry vendors joined ethanol supporters like Kenton at last year’s fly-in to share their personal ethanol stories with more than 160 members of Congress and top administration executives. Our fly-in also featured some of the first retailers in the U.S. to sell E15, E30 and E85.  The retailers explained how they have made money and won new customers because they’ve offered these new fuels at their stations.

With opponents’ attacks against E15 and the RFS intensifying and more than 70 new members elected to Congress, active participation in our fly-in takes on greater importance this year. In addition to a large crop of incoming freshmen, just a small fraction of current lawmakers were in office when the original RFS was enacted in 2005 and modified in 2007 by Congress. Moreover, low oil prices and EPA’s mismanagement of the annual volume setting process will be used by our opponents to call for repeal of the RFS. We need you to meet face-to-face with the EPA and members of Congress to help show that the RFS is working, that cellulosic ethanol is real, and how blends such as E15, E30 and E85 are better and cleaner choices for consumers.

In addition to meetings with Congress on Capitol Hill, this year we are also planning to meet with officials from the White House, the EPA, and the Department of Transportation and Surface Transportation Board officials about our concerns with the proposed rule on DOT-111 tank cars and ongoing rail congestion. We also expect more retailers who are selling higher ethanol blends to join us once again and share how they have new customers and profits because they’re selling E15 and higher blends of ethanol.

There is no better time for people who have a stake in the success of the ethanol industry to come march with us. I hope to see you March 24 to 25.


Author: Brian Jennings
Executive Vice President
American Coalition for Ethanol
605-334-3381
bjennings@ethanol.org