ACE, retailers talk opportunities to increase E15 at NEB forum

By American Coalition for Ethanol | March 07, 2019

American Coalition for Ethanol Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty participates on a panel today at Nebraska Ethanol Board’s 2019 Emerging Issues Forum in La Vista, Nebraska, with retailers about the opportunities and practical considerations to increase E15 and higher ethanol blends. Lamberty also moderates a panel Friday about emerging markets for U.S. ethanol. 

Joining Lamberty on the panel is Randy Gard of Bosselman Enterprises and Matt Spackman of Kum & Go. Lamberty’s presentation will cover common questions and concerns ACE has heard from petroleum marketers about offering E15 and higher ethanol blends, as well as ACE’s efforts to correct the misinformation surrounding the upcoming Reid vapor pressure (RVP) rule to allow year-round E15. 

“Many retailers are concerned their equipment isn’t compatible, but that’s not likely,” Lamberty said. “The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab published their E15 and Infrastructure report nearly four years ago, and in it they said, ‘the majority of installed tanks can store blends above E10.’ We can put retailers in touch with other marketers, who have increased their volumes and profits selling higher ethanol blends, at flexfuelforward.com.”

Panelist Randy Gard is one such retailer who has “been there and done that.” Gard’s presentation will show attendees the direct correlation between blender pumps and ethanol sales.

“You don’t hear ‘if you build it, they’ll come’ very often, but we’ve proven that,” Gard said. “Simply put, retailer infrastructure drives consumption. If you have the product and E15 is a nickel less, people are going to buy it and we have data to back that up—we just need more locations.”

“The second part of that is there are off-rack blending facilities that need to be built so we’re in control of our own destiny,” Gard added. “Also, from a legislative perspective, the RVP year-round waiver is a big deal.”

The panel Lamberty moderates on Friday consists of Roger Berry of the Nebraska Corn Board, Kristy Moore of KMoore Consulting LLC, and Craig Willis of Growth Energy. Lamberty will draw upon what he’s learned while speaking at technical ethanol information forums in Mexico during the discussion.