ACE presents on ethanol markets at MN Ag Expo

By American Coalition for Ethanol | January 26, 2018

Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol, updated attendees at the MN Ag EXPO in Mankato, Minnesota, on the changing landscape that allows retailers to offer ethanol-blended fuels at lower prices, highlighting the positive market growth of E15 and flex fuels here in the U.S., as well as growth opportunities in oversea markets. A sneak peek of the fourth episode in ACE’s marketer-focused flexfuelforward.com video mini-series was also shown. 

“Retailers are noticing large chains offering new fuel blends and are starting to ask questions. After years of being inundated with anti-ethanol propaganda, they are wondering how it's possible,” Lamberty said. “ACE’s market development efforts have always focused on providing reliable information to marketers who have questions about blending ethanol, and we continue to update that information.”

Lamberty also addressed renewable identification number (RIN) credits, which are used by refiners to show compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard. A goal of ACE’s market development efforts is to explain the math behind RINs to retailers and wholesalers.

“Because some refiners either can’t or won’t blend their own fuel, a market of independent retailers and wholesalers has emerged that will essentially blend the fuel for them and then sell the RINs, directly or indirectly, to refiners who need them to comply with the RFS,” Lamberty said. “The extra RIN value reduces fuel cost so retailers can offer lower prices at the pump and increase volumes, while still earning more money.”

“The ironic thing is if these oil companies that whine about RINs really wanted to solve their problem, they would encourage people to use higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85,” Lamberty said. “More RINs would be generated, and increased RIN supply means lower RIN prices. It’s simple economics.”

In addition, Lamberty provided an overview on how retailers are currently marketing fuels with higher ethanol blends, including the increasing number highlighting the higher octane of E15. He touched on the importance of octane and future of high-octane fuels for clean air, during his presentation.

“E15 saves consumers money, makes good business sense for retailers, and helps make the air cleaner,” Lamberty said. “Those are the messages we have been sharing with petroleum marketers for years, and more and more of them now understand the opportunity.”