ACE leadership kicks off 31st annual conference in Minneapolis
Posted on 08/16/2018
Minneapolis, MN (August 16, 2018) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) kicked off the first day of sessions for the 31st annual conference at the Renaissance Depot Hotel in Minneapolis with a discussion on the progress being made and work that remains to expand market access for ethanol in the U.S. and around the world. ACE Board President Duane Kristensen, representing Chief Ethanol Fuels, provided opening remarks, along with ACE CEO Brian Jennings and ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty.
“The 31st annual ACE conference comes at an interesting time for agriculture and the ethanol industry,” Kristensen said. “Where do we stand on the RFS, on trade and tariffs, E15, and the list goes on. Ethanol is being produced at record levels. Domestic and export demand are also at record levels. The conference allows those in the ethanol industry to catch up on the latest developments and have input on how to move forward. We’re appreciative of those joining us this week and engaging in the future of ethanol.”
Jennings commended the conference crowd for staying vigilant despite the attacks oil refiners have launched on ethanol this year. “Wrangling over market share with the most profitable companies in the world has always required our industry to be resourceful — to punch above our weight,” Jennings said. “But we have leverage before the midterm election. Candidates need your vote. Rural America needs to speak out about the fact that farmers are losing money while refiners have the best of both worlds — fat profit margins and minimal RFS compliance costs.”
“Enlisting the help of our allies in the Senate, the many Governors who support us, and through candidates who need our vote this fall, we must keep grassroots pressure on the White House and EPA to make good on President Trump’s promises to maintain 15 billion gallons in the RFS, which means reallocating the small refinery exemptions, and to issue a clean RVP rulemaking for E15 and higher blends,” Jennings added.
Lamberty addressed the importance of real-world retailer experience in developing markets for more ethanol. “As leading retailers add E15 and flex fuel to an increasing number of their stations, other retailers are starting to understand higher ethanol blends are smart business — they’re moneymakers. When station owners see other single store retailers offering E15 and flex fuels, they realize they haven’t heard the truth about the costs and risks of adding higher ethanol blends, and they’re asking questions,” Lamberty said. “We can answer those questions, but most retailers trust the message more when it comes from other retailers. We do, too. ACE’s market development program relies on continually learning from successful E15 and flex fuel marketers and then bringing those marketers together with prospective retailers on our flexfuelforward.com website, in-person at trade shows, and by visiting their retail stations.”
This morning’s opening remarks are followed by three general session panels, then nine breakout sessions in the afternoon. The general session panels cover topics ranging from uncovering Big Oil’s scheme to limit ethanol use to fuel quality and specification, as well as future demand opportunities for liquid fuels and electricity in the U.S.
A live stream of ACE leadership's remarks is available HERE.
For a copy of brian jennings prepared remarks, click here.
Click here to listen to an interview with Duane Kristensen.