Setting a Unified Agenda for the Future

By Mike Bryan | February 04, 2009
Our industry's success has been predicated on having a unified front. If we look back over the past 25 years and try to identify when we have had public policy problems, defeats or setbacks, it has almost always been when the ethanol industry is split on an issue.

Now more than ever, the importance of speaking with one voice in Washington, D.C., can't be overstated. There is an opportunity for a new beginning, a chance to move the biofuels agenda forward in a way that we never thought possible. This administration has been incredibly outspoken in its support for biofuels and renewable energy in general.

We need to be sure that we clearly articulate the agenda for this industry and do so with one voice. As you can imagine, we won't be alone in that endeavor. Wind and solar power, and every other alternative energy source, will be lining up to stake their claim. You can also bet that the entire array of fossil fuels will be knocking on the doors of Congress.

The challenges are significant, with oil prices once again comparatively low, the economy still in great peril and most of us reeling from a difficult 2008, but the rewards are unparalleled. We will need to present a clear path forward to the new administration.

Everyone in this business has had to create a strategic plan on how to cope with the changing environment of renewable energy. In business, we take input from a variety of sources, compile that information and then make a decision on a plan of action. The same should be true of our industry. We need to bring together the brightest minds from all sides of the industry and collectively strategize a plan that has been formed by consensus, with input from all stakeholders.

Everyone has a stake in the success of the ethanol industry, whether they are a producer, an engineering company, a supplier or service provider. These companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of the ethanol industry and to say that only ethanol producers have a voice is dated thinking. We all have a vested interest.

As soon as feasible, I believe it's absolutely necessary to bring together this diverse group, collect their thoughts, combined wisdom and creative ideas, and present those ideas with one voice to this administration as ethanol's agenda for the future.

That's the way I see it!

Mike Bryan
Publisher & CEO