Expanding Market Access

By Tom Buis | December 06, 2012

Happy New Year to all of you in the ethanol industry, who, in my opinion, are part of one of the greatest success stories in the history of America! While this past year has been one of the most challenging we have ever faced, and we certainly understand we will face more challenges in the new year,  we have won every hurdle that Big Oil and Big Food have thrown at us, and we will continue that success this year.  We won numerous legal battles against Big Oil and Big Food in 2012—we won the battle over the waiver of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) and we stopped them on the legislative front from dismantling the RFS. 

In 2013, we will see some of the greatest challenges and opportunities in history for our industry—and we are prepared for both. Big Oil and Big Food will again make an all-out assault on the RFS, we will continue to face unfair trade practices from Brazil, barriers to open trade to the European Union, a bizarre regulatory scheme in California, and every conceivable hurdle to get more market access for E15 and higher blends. And we will succeed. 

Our biggest challenge and opportunity in the New Year is market access. One of the reasons Growth Energy was formed was to anticipate and respond to what our industry needs to succeed. We recognized that one of the biggest obstacles for our industry was the impending blend wall.  In March 2009, we filed the waiver to increase the ethanol blend up to 15 percent, recognizing that fuel consumption in America was declining and that our industry had the capacity to produce more than enough to meet the 10 percent regulatory cap. While our opponents have erected every regulatory and legal hurdle imaginary to prevent higher blends, we expect to overcome these hurdles this year. 

Our big focus will be working with retailers to get E15 and flex-fuel pumps into more retail establishments nationwide. We will continue to work with pump manufacturers to offer minimal cost retrofit kits for retailers. And, we will pursue regulatory changes to address the Reid vapor pressure problem, the minimum purchase requirement obstacle and all the other regulatory hurdles impeding the adoption of higher blends.  

This year we will have a new Congress and an Obama administration supportive of renewable fuels, creating an opportunity to further promote our industry. We cannot take things for granted, however, we need every one of you to engage with your members of Congress to ensure our industry’s future. 

Everyone recognizes what a tough year 2012 was. Our industry is a winner, and winners succeed, and we will succeed because we have the facts on our side. Whether it’s food versus fuel, environmental benefits or savings to consumers, we are a great benefit to all Americans. But we cannot sit back and hope for success, we must stand up and fight for our industry. At Growth Energy, we will be leading the fight for our industry and urge you to do the same.

American ethanol is a win for America. We have reduced our dependence on foreign oil. We are now 10 percent of America’s fuel supply. We have created more than 400,000 jobs in the U.S.—jobs that cannot be outsourced overseas. We generate more than $50 billion in gross domestic product. We have improved our nation’s air quality and our environment, revitalized our rural economy, and saved consumers money at the pump. Because of you, our industry is one of the greatest American success stories. Let’s continue to spread the message. 

On behalf of everyone at Growth Energy, we wish you a Happy New Year!

Author: Tom Buis
CEO, Growth Energy