WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2016 - Despite some marketplace and regulatory challenges, the ethanol industry is poised for continued expansion. That was one of the key messages delivered during Growth Energy’s seventh annual Executive Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. earlier this week.

Jeff Broin, co-chair of Growth Energy’s Board of Directors, said his industry is working very hard on advocacy and public relations.

“We want people to understand that ethanol is a great product and it’s good for America. Good for our environment and replaces cancer-causing products in gasoline. The goal of our organization is to make sure ethanol is understood across America.”

On the domestic front, Broin said the industry is putting in thousands of flex-fuel pumps, with an E15 blend now that will likely include higher blends in the future. And the international outlook is also positive.

“Other countries are seeing that we are cleaining up our air here with ethanol. So exports are up,” he added.

“This is a long-term game, and we will not give up,” said Broin. “Our industry is poised to succeed, because we are doing the right thing for our nation and generations to come. We will continue to go full throttle to produce a biofuel that reduces toxic air emissions while improving performance for future vehicles.”

The growth of E15 in the marketplace was a big focus of the meeting. “We’ve seen tremendous increases in consumer acceptance among NASCAR fans … Once they see that it’s a higher performance fuel, a higher octane fuel, people use it,” said Broin during an interview with AgWired at the meeting. “NASCAR’s been very successful at showing ethanol is a great fuel.”

Co-Chair Tom Buis focused on the industry’s successes on Capitol Hill.

“Last year was an interesting year, we increased exports, had another great corn crop and defeated every single attempt to repeal or reform the RFS.”

Buis emphasized how the ethanol industry stepped up to the plate to help change the flight of the ball on the renewable volume obligations (RVO’s), or how much biofuels are required to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. He noted that while the rules remain flawed, it was better than the proposed rules and “the blend wall was finally cracked this year.” Supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) along with expanding market access to E15 will continue to be top priorities for 2016, Buis said.

“We need to grab the bull by the horns and discuss all the good work that this industry does, including the environmental benefits, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and all the good jobs we create across the nation, while helping bring choice to American consumers,” Buis said.


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