The American Coalition for Ethanol Annual Conference What It Takes looked at ways the industry can grow the ethanol market internationally and domestically. This was the 32nd annual ACE conference, which was held this year in Omaha, Nebraska.
ACE CEO Brian Jennings emphasized the need for “a vision of how to increase demand for ethanol and break free from the status quo.”
Jennings went on to talk about the positives of E15 being available year-round but told the crowd we have to keep fighting the EPA’s abuse of the RFS. “At ACE, we’ve come to the conclusion we can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope the results get better, playing defense on the RFS and hoping trade wars subside isn’t a growth strategy. We need to turn the page, to go on offense.”
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and U.S. Grains Council CEO & President Ryan LeGrand were featured speakers among the group. Some of the high-level trends and topics included improving carbon intensity scores of ethanol plants due to efficiency improvements and the resulting opportunities; the world’s growing need for protein – and the ensuing markets for ethanol co-products; the role of natural gas market dynamics in the industry; as well as the increased attention placed on traceability in supply chain management and reporting.
NCGA Senior Communications Manager Julie Busse and Manager of Renewable Fuels and Data Analysis Peter Magner attended the conference. The welcome reception – sponsored by a number of state corn organizations – included welcome remarks from Adam Andrews, state liaison to the Ethanol Action Team and Kentucky Corn Growers Association programs director. Andrews thanked ACE and attendees for their partnership with corn growers. Other corn states represented at the conference include Kansas, North Dakota and Indiana.