The new Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (Iowa RFA) President Steve Bleyl is seeking advocates for biofuels. While giving his remarks to kick off the 8th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit held in Altoona, Iowa, he had people who were driving flex-fuel vehicles, using E15 or mid-level ethanol blends and driving biodiesel vehicles stand up. Most of the 600 plus attendees were still sitting.
Thus, said Bleyl who works for Green Plains Renewable Energy (they have three ethanol production facilities in Iowa), the industry and consumers need to become better advocates for renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
Bleyl noted that Iowa is a motivated state to have higher ethanol blends. The state incentivizes retailers to blend over 10 percent ethanol (E10), and he said you’re starting to see that effect take off. He noted that the IRFA board has given his staff some pretty lofty goals. They want E15 in the state and his goal is to have 100 E15 pumps in Iowa by the end of this year.
I asked Bleyl, so how exactly do we make this goal happen? “I’m in a unique situation. l will actually write someone at a retail gas chain and tell them, hey, I was at your gas station today and your E85 is not competitively priced. I know what the price should be,” answered Bleyl. But he said he’s not doing it in a way to tell them how to price their fuel, but in a way that let’s them know he realizes they want to do more and he wants to help.
He challenged me and all those at the conference as well as in his interview to be better advocates and call retail chains and write letters and ask for E15 and E85 and biodiesel. He stressed that if retailers know consumers want these fuels, then most of them will offer the fuels to their customers.
His last piece of advice, “Fight globally, but act locally.”
Listen to my interview with Bob Dinneen here: Iowa RFA President Steve Bleyl Seeks Advocates