Power, Passion and Performance

ACE reports on fly-in, upcoming conference that continue to educate policymakers, stakeholders on ethanol issues.
By Brian Jennings | June 10, 2016

Nearly 70 members of the American Coalition for Ethanol traveled to Washington, D.C., this spring as part of our 8th annual fly-in. We met with staff in more than 125 congressional offices representing 36 states, conveying the importance of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) and bipartisan, bicameral legislation (H.R. 1736 and S. 1239) to extend Reid vapor pressure (RVP) relief to E15 and higher blends (which have more ethanol but fewer evaporative emissions than E10 and gasoline) during the June 1 through Sept. 15 summer ozone season.

During the two-day fly-in, we ran back-to-back, full-page ads in Roll Call, a popular Capitol Hill publication with a circulation of more than 22,000. The ad buy highlighted the RFS and RVP relief legislation using the real-life stories of Charlie Good, an ASE-certified mechanic and C-store owner who wants the U.S. EPA to let him sell E15 year-round, and Delayne Johnson, CEO of Quad County Corn Processors, whose company is the first to successfully commercialize cellulosic biofuel from corn kernel fiber.

Our opponents constantly are telling Congress the RFS must be repealed and that using E15 places cars and station owners at risk. Retailers helped us counterpunch during the fly-in by sharing first-hand experiences with their customers who are buying low-cost, high-octane E15 and flex fuels, thanks to Congress standing strong on the RFS.

Fly-in participants met with Trevor Reuschel, USDA  acting deputy director, who provided an update on the status of the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership program. Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., also spoke to the group regarding his legislation (H.R. 1736) to extend the RVP waiver to E15 and higher blends. Finally, our attendees heard from Lindsey Erb and Tom Sleight of the U.S. Grains Council, who shared their perspective on global demand for ethanol. ACE is a new member of the USGC and we’ve invited Erb and Sleight back to our conference in Minneapolis to give an update on activities designed to promote additional sales of U.S. ethanol and DDGS worldwide.

Speaking of ACE’s conference, I encourage everyone to join us Aug. 8-10 at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel for our “Power, Passion, Performance” themed event. We think those three words fittingly describe the strengths and future of the ethanol industry. The world is going on a low-carbon diet and having seconds on octane, and that makes ethanol an essential ingredient. Many of our conference topics will delve into what the people of ethanol are doing to capitalize on the high-octane, low-carbon future. For example, we have a panel discussion titled “Octane’s Value Proposition and Regulatory Path Forward,” which will cover how refiners calculate for the octane value of ethanol and the federal regulatory pathways that must be navigated to eventually get a higher-octane fuel with more ethanol approved.

Keeping with the ACE conference theme, speakers will explain how ethanol producers can reduce their plants' carbon intensity through a better understanding of data from the field, energy inputs and optimizing plant operations, while other presenters will provide an overview on the Paris climate agreements and legal insight on exports, policy and regulations. Leading retailers around the country who are making the switch to E15 and flex fuels will be on the ACE conference stage to share why and how the industry can move even more gallons by increasing our share of the retail fuel market. Our keynote address will be from Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, with his always insightful analysis of energy markets. You won’t want to miss his presentation. Finally, Kristy Moore, one of the industry’s top technical experts, will lead a session discussing why ASTM membership is important to ethanol producers and how to join and participate in the ASTM process for developing fuel specs.  Moore also will explain EPA’s proposed fuel quality specifications for blends containing 16 through 83 percent ethanol.

ACE is grateful to the members who support our grassroots fly-ins and we invite you to join us in Minneapolis in August for our annual conference.
Author: Brian Jennings
Executive Vice President
American Coalition for Ethanol