The ethanol industry is close to a range of important breakthroughs, but challenges to those advancements must be overcome. That's the message from Bob Dinneen, president, Renewable Fuels Association as he addressed the 2010 Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis, Mo., this week. Noting the Gulf tragedy is driving more Americans to focus on the importance of energy diversity and security.
He quoted President Obama noting that refusing to take into account the full costs of "our fossil fuel addiction" the country will have missed its "best chance to seize a clean energy future. Dinneed adds "More than ever before, not is the time to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and the ingenuity of America's heartland and break our addition to oil, now must be the time to seize control of our energy future."
From an industry with just 610 million gallons of production when the first FEW was held, America’s ethanol industry has grown to produce more than 12 billion gallons annually. This growth in production has meant a rejuvenation of many rural communities and economic opportunity for those often left behind. "Ethanol production is bringing unequalled economic opportunity and growth to hundreds of rural communities all across the country," Dinneen says. "Last year alone, ethanol production helped nearly 400,000 Americans keep their jobs or find new ones, all while unemployment climbed toward 10 percent.”
He worked to rally support for American ethanol production, pointing to past successes including establishing ethanol as a safe alternative to MTBE in oxygenate markets, creation of the renewable fuels standard, and the creation of incentives to accelerate commercialization of cellulose and other advanced biofuels.
For a look at his prepared remarks, check out Dinneen speech.