ACE leadership keynotes NEB event for fuel retailers

By American Coalition for Ethanol | September 03, 2019

As the first summer of nation-wide approved E15 use winds to an end, the American Coalition for Ethanol continues its efforts to ensure retailers understand their hands are no longer tied by red tape preventing them from offering lower priced, higher octane E15 fuel to their customers all year. As a former fuel retailer himself, ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty heads these efforts at the organization, working directly with retailers and connecting them with their peers. Last week, Lamberty keynoted a fuel retailer workshop hosted by the Nebraska Ethanol Board for marketers from across the state who wanted to learn more about the benefits and ease of offering E15.

“Events like this remind me of the ‘old days' when I was traveling around the country helping fuel marketers understand the facts about ethanol and the math of E10,” Lamberty said. “Back then, marketers were concerned because ethanol was new, and they were unfamiliar. Today, although retailers have been handling ethanol blends for decades without problems, they’ve also been pounded with anti-ethanol mythology about higher blends by folks trying to roll back gains ethanol has made in the marketplace. Through workshops, trade shows and our flexfuelforward.com website, ACE connects prospective higher ethanol blend marketers with their peers who saw through the misinformation campaigns, added E15 and flex fuels, and made more money than they’ve ever made before.”  

The one-day event included testimonies and a question and answer session with fuel retailers Randy Gard, COO of Bosselman Enterprises, owner of the Pump & Pantry convenience store chain, and Phil Smith with Aurora Coop.

“Retailers in the audience had the opportunity to ask Randy and Phil questions about higher ethanol blends and get straightforward answers from people who have already implemented the fuel successfully,” Lamberty added. “Learning from the experiences of other retailers goes a long way in making the decision of whether to offer new fuel easier, and in the end, helps sell more ethanol.”

The event agenda also included the Nebraska State Fire Marshal for the Fuels Safety Division walking through the steps to take before adding blends E15 and higher, as well as information on proper labeling of fuel dispensers, state policies supporting ethanol sales, and financial resources for expanding infrastructure.

Today, there are nearly 1,800 retail locations in 31 states selling E15. And, since the EPA approved the sale of E15 year-round, the number of retail locations selling E15 is growing and fuel retailers are seeing new customers and improved profits. While this market will continue to grow over the long-term, ACE is keeping pressure on the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency to find an immediate and meaningful solution to recent decisions which have closed 20 ethanol plants and threaten the upside potential of year-round E15.