ACE hosts annual ethanol conference

By Kris Bevill | August 10, 2009
Report posted Aug. 20, 2009 at 4:38 p.m. CST

The American Coalition for Ethanol held its 22nd annual Ethanol Conference & Trade Show Aug. 11-13 in Milwaukee, Wisc. Topics discussed at the conference included: increasing the use of blender pumps throughout the United States, increasing the efficiency of E85, cellulosic ethanol and indirect land use change.

Keynote speaker Dallas Tonsager, USDA under secretary for rural development, told attendees that ethanol is a prime example of how to boost rural U.S. economies. "We must ensure that rural communities are creating wealth, self-sustaining, repopulating and thriving economically," he said. Tonsager said the USDA continues to research and assist in developing new sources of renewable energy and that increasing the allowable percentage of ethanol to be blended into ethanol "makes all the sense in the world."

During the conference, ACE unveiled a partnership between the coalition and the Renewable Fuels Association, formed to promote the use of blender pumps. The goal of the marketing campaign is to install 5,000 new blender pumps across the United States. (Read "ACE and RFA announce campaign to increase use of blender pumps" for more information.)

ACE also held its annual business meeting prior to the conference kick-off and elected several new members to its board of directors. Joining the board were Rand Hahn, CEO, the Renewable Products Marketing Group; Ron Alverson, chairman, Lake Area Corn Processors; Russ Newman, vice president, Tharaldson Ethanol; and Kirk Schaunaman, representative for the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.

"ACE is proud to continue our unique mission of being the grassroots voice for ethanol, and we're strengthening that position by adding these well-respected and independent voices to our board of directors," ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings said. "Now, more than ever, it's important to have a strong grassroots base and our board helps us deliver on the promise of bringing the voices of all ethanol supporters to the table."