Home / News / Business news / New group rises from ashes of ethanol consolidation

New group rises from ashes of ethanol consolidation

Agriculture.com Staff 11/12/2008 @ 2:49pm

Early last summer, more than 50 representatives of the ethanol industry met in Chicago. Some, including the meeting's organizer, Jeff Broin, the CEO of POET, were hoping to unite the industry under one umbrella group, according to several sources in the industry.

It was a tough time for the ethanol makers. The prices of its key raw material, corn, were rising. And the industry was under attack by the Grocery Manufacturers of America and livestock trade groups. As the food versus fuel debate raged in the press, ethanol was painted as the root of several evils, including hunger in developing countries and deforestation in the Amazon basin.

If there's one thing the ethanol industry has in abundance, it's industry groups.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), based in Washington, is the oldest, with broad representation of ethanol plants. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a grassroots organization with members who are farmers, co-ops and ethanol plants. And the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) based in Omaha, promotes ethanol through polling, advertising and sponsoring ethanol-powered racecars.

If an ethanol plant belongs to all of those voluntary organizations, the cost adds up. EPIC, for example, charges a half-cent for every gallon of annual production. For a 100-million gallon plant, that's $500,000. So there was incentive to consolidate.

It didn't happen.

ACE declined to merge into one umbrella group. Broin reportedly wanted RFA's president, Bob Dinneen, to be a lobbyist for the new group. Dinneen has many defenders among RFA board members. Merger with RFA didn't happen either.

Early last summer, more than 50 representatives of the ethanol industry met in Chicago. Some, including the meeting's organizer, Jeff Broin, the CEO of POET, were hoping to unite the industry under one umbrella group, according to several sources in the industry.

So on Tuesday, Broin and representatives of three other ethanol industry companies unveiled a fourth ethanol group, Growth Energy.

Asked if he was dissatisfied with the Renewable Fuels Association, Broin told Agriculture Online, "I think we as a group, we believe that the more associations the better. There are dozens of hunger associations."

Wednesday, in a follow up interview with Agriculture Online, POET's Broin refused to criticize RFA. "We intend to work with industry groups moving forward," he said. "We're supportive of the other ethanol groups. We think they have a place in the debate."

CancelPost Comment
MORE FROM AGRICULTURE.COM STAFF more +

Farm and ranch risk management resources By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Government resources USDA Risk Management Agency Download free insurance program and…

Major types of crop insurance policies By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Crop insurance for major field crops comes in two types: yield-based coverage that pays an…

Marketing 101 - Are options the right tool… By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am "If you are looking for a low risk way to protect yourself against prices moving either higher or…

MEDIA CENTERmore +
This container should display a .swf file. If not, you may need to upgrade your Flash player.
Questions Surrounding Data Concern Are Answered