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ACE leadership, Gov. Ricketts kick off 30th annual conference

Omaha, NE (August 16, 2017) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) kicked off the first day of sessions at the 30th annual conference with a discussion of the progress being made and work that remains to expand market access for ethanol in the U.S. and around the world. This year’s conference keynote speaker Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts followed expressing how ethanol is a huge part of value-added agriculture in the state of Nebraska.

“The future for ethanol in this country and around the world is very bright,” Gov. Ricketts said. “Ethanol is important for our country, for our environment and for the state of Nebraska. Thank you for coming here today to talk about how to continue to grow this important industry in our state.”

Ricketts expressed optimism for the industry based on ethanol’s potential as an octane enhancer, innovation as ethanol producers and corn growers become more efficient, and the willingness of EPA Administrator Pruitt and the White House to engage on how to overcome barriers which are impeding the use of ethanol.

Duane Kristensen, ACE board vice president (representing Chief Ethanol Fuels), began the morning’s general session discussion by describing the evolution ethanol has had in the state of Nebraska and a snapshot of the state’s ethanol industry in 2017. The state currently has 25 ethanol plants constructed, with additional plant innovations underway, and production this year reached 2.2 billion gallons.

“I guarantee you the ethanol industry is poised to grow and will continue to grow,” Kristensen said. “You look at the investment that the industry is making not only in Nebraska but around this country.”

Brian Jennings, ACE executive vice president, discussed recent positive developments on Capitol Hill and at EPA in his comments. "We’re as close as we’ve ever been to getting Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief for E15 and higher ethanol blends thanks to bipartisan leadership in Congress and a new way of thinking at EPA,” Jennings said. He followed by urging attendees to encourage their senators to be “creative and relentless in exploring ways to enact RVP legislation when they return to D.C. next month.”

Jennings also mentioned last month’s court victory in the lawsuit over EPA’s previous decision to waive the RFS based on the blend wall, as well as EPA’s request for new comments on the role high-octane fuel can play in helping automakers meet future fuel economy standards. Jennings encouraged attendees to submit comments to EPA by the end of the month on the 2018 RFS by thanking EPA for proposing 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel, but also conveying the agency needs to increase the cellulosic target in the final rule.

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