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Grassroots Voice: Looking Out for Ethanol in 2010
by Brian Jennings

The holidays are indeed happy because black ink returned to ethanol’s financial statements. Despite many challenges, we scored some important victories this year and have reasons to be bullish for 2010.

By the time this issue of ET hits newsstands, EPA should have issued a decision on the E15 waiver. While I cannot predict the outcome, the fact is that considerable scientific data, some of which ACE generated, supports the use of E15 in vehicles.

Not only does the science support E15 and other blends beyond E10, but President Obama noted earlier this year that we must “remove long-standing artificial barriers to market expansion necessary for large volumes of renewable fuels to find a place in America's transportation fuels system.”

A lot of rumors are flying around about what EPA will and will not do, but I am confident in the fact that it is a matter of time before the agency gives a green light to a blend beyond E10.

To convey the grassroots support for E15 and other biofuels priorities, ACE hosted a fly-in to DC this year. The ACE members participating in this Capitol Hill effort made a compelling case about the need to move beyond the E10 blend wall. ACE members conveyed personally to EPA Administrator Jackson that unless blends beyond E10 are permitted, there will be no market for next-generation biofuels.

ACE effectively built grassroots momentum for ethanol in 2009, and this will remain a top priority for us in the coming year. Soon after the E15 waiver was submitted, ACE launched a nationwide effort to gather signatures on a petition in support of a move to E15 – 7,000 individuals from all 50 states signed ACE’s petition.

ACE also teamed up with the National Corn Growers Association, several state corn grower associations, and RFA to begin the three-year “Blend Your Own Ethanol” (BYO) campaign. Our campaign offers a single source of ethanol information and technical expertise for petroleum marketers looking to upgrade equipment or begin offering more choices to their customers through blender pumps and midlevel blends. I expect this effort to continue to grow and succeed.

For 2010, we’ll maintain focus on policy priorities such as VEETC, midlevel blends, and ILUC, and as the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy for ethanol, we’ll continue to activate existing members through traditional and new media tools, and ACE will work to build even more grassroots champions for ethanol. Because unemployment remains around 10 percent and policymakers are searching for ways to spur job creation, ACE’s advocacy efforts will center on how biofuels create jobs that cannot be exported.

We can effectively tackle these priorities and score victories for the industry through your support . It is vital for everyone to recognize that it takes resources to execute on these priorities, and that your membership support of ACE will guarantee that someone is looking out for you in 2010.

Merry Christmas.

 
© American Coalition for Ethanol, all rights reserved.
The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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