News & Ideas

ACE Conference Panel of Ethanol Producers Get Candid About Adapting to the Unexpected and What’s Next

ACE shares a preview of September 16 “Producer Perspectives” panel with commentary about the election and EPA mismanagement of the RFS.

Sioux Falls, SD (September 10, 2020) – This year’s American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 33rd annual conference is taking place online live from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Central on September 16. The final segment will feature a  panel consisting of ACE Board President Duane Kristensen, General Manager and Vice President of Operations for Chief Ethanol Fuels, Inc., ACE Board Vice President Dave Sovereign, Iowa farmer and Chairman of Golden Grain Energy, LLC, and Neil Koehler, Co-Founder, Director and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Ethanol, Inc., discussing how they’ve adapted their businesses to cope with the uncertain market conditions brought on by the global health pandemic, oil price war, trade wars, and mismanagement of the RFS, as well as optimism for current and future low carbon fuel markets.

With just over 50 days until the election and nearing the one-year anniversary of the White House meeting where six GOP Senators and the President struck a “deal” with how to move forward on ethanol policy, ACE provides a preview where the panelists speak frankly about politics and EPA’s mismanagement of the RFS.

“This administration has been an unmitigated disaster as it relates to our industry, and a lot of promises were made and broken,” Koehler said. “Yes, we got a rulemaking around E15 but when you undermined it with SREs to the tune of 4 billion gallons of lost demand, it’s a pretty hollow accomplishment.”

“It’s been almost a year ago that they had the meeting in the White House with Senator Ernst, Governor Reynolds, Senator Grassley and several others where there were five key issues that were promised by this administration to get done,” Sovereign said. “USDA is the only one that’s got anything done [implementing the Higher Blends Infrastructure Investment Program], the other four were left in the hands of the EPA. President Trump can put the pressure on EPA to get those remaining four done.” (Note: this video was recorded prior to press reports claiming the president has called on EPA to reject dozens of pending “gap year” waivers.)

“Regardless of who is elected president, we have a lot of work in front of us and alliances to form,” Koehler added. “We need to do what we can between now and November to get some progress done on these issues.”

“EPA has not been friendly to our industry under both political parties. No matter who is in the White House or Congress, there’s a lot of work to do,” echoed Kristensen, who moderates the discussion. “No doubt talk is cheap, but this will be a unique election, so be involved.”

You can view the Producer Perspective panel preview here. To watch the full panel discussion and to ask questions of the panelists live, tune in for the virtual session taking place from 4:15 to 5:00 p.m. Central on September 16.

Become a Member of the Family.