The National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Committee met last week in Detroit, Michigan to discuss everything from the latest research on ethanol use in small engines to growing opportunities for distiller’s grains. While there, the group also met with representatives of Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and the Environmental Protection Agency. “Meeting in Detroit provided us with a great opportunity to talk with the Big Three auto manufacturers,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Jeff Sandborn. “They confirmed ethanol has a lot to offer because it provides non-toxic, economical octane, but we face significant challenges particularly in the policy arena.”
Sandborn, a grower from Portland, Mich., noted ethanol provides the performance characteristics auto-makers want and does so more economically than any other source. However, they are also looking for direction from the Environmental Protection Agency on specific future standards so they know what engines to design and what ethanol blends might work best.
“We also met with EPA officials while in Detroit. It is clear that NCGA can and probably should step up communications and education with EPA and other governmental agencies to assure they have the best technical information available related to ethanol’s potential,” Sandborn said.
Participants included Jeff Sandborn, of Michigan; Mike Nichols, of Indiana; Lynn Crisp of Nebraska; Aron Carlson of Illinois; Jerry Demmer of Minnesota; Dennis Gengenbach of Nebraska; Paul Jeschke of Illinois; Dennis McNinch of Kansas; Jerry Mohr of Iowa; Mark Recker of Iowa; Jay Schutte of Missouri; Kim Swenson of North Dakota and state staff Bradley Schad of Missouri and Dave Loos of Illinois. NCGA staff on hand to serve the committee Dr. Pam Keck, director of biofuels; Beth Elliott, director of public policy Melanie Gibson, administrative assistant; and Mark Lambert, senior communications manager.