Nearly 50 advocates from around the country are flying into Washington, D.C. this week to tell lawmakers about the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and the importance of consumer choice and E15. Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) who is hosting the event, says there are nearly 100 new freshman members of Congress.
“Whether we make visits to their offices or veteran lawmakers, the fact that we need to do a better job about educating people about ethanol through telling our story but also showing our story is really important. That’s what this fly-in enables us to do,” said Jennings.
He said there is a good diversity in the mix of participants. There are several livestock producers attending who will be meeting with key legislators to talk about dried distillers grains. There are also ethanol producers along with some bankers and some enzymes companies as well.
“Ethanol isn’t some narrow, special interest program that benefits only ethanol producers,” said Jennings. “That’s what oil producers would certainly like members of Congress to think. We want to show them that main street businesses, and bankers and livestock producers and consumers all benefit in a variety of ways from ethanol and we feel we have some good ways to show and tell that story.”
The big story out of Washington this past week has been the sequestration and budget cuts and I asked Brian about the mood in DC. He noted that the RFS has delivered benefits across America without costing tax payers a single dime.
“So we’re going to capitalize on that mood in Washington which is concern about debt, concern about the budget deficit. Subsidies for ethanol ended in 2011. We are not subsidized by the government oil companies still are. We have this thing called the RFS that levels the playing field. Oh by the way we’re cheaper than gas. Oh, and did we mention we’re not subsidized? I don’t think we can say that enough.”
Jennings believes the ethanol industry has a compelling story to tell when the event begins Wednesday, March 13, 2013.
Learn more about the Biofuels Beltway March by listening to my full interview with Brian: Ethanol Advocates Show & Tell Ethanol's Benefits