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Event Details

DOE Ethanol Workshop Series

Idaho Ethanol Workshop
Ethanol and Idaho: Partners for the Future

January 11, 2001
8:00 am to 4:00 pm

DoubleTree Hotel Riverside
Boise, Idaho

Workshop Summary

Approximately 90 very interested and enthusiastic people attended the Ethanol Workshop in Boise. The Workshop was part of the Ethanol Workshop Series (EWS) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fuels Development, and supported by the Regional Biomass Energy Program and was held on January 11, 2001, at the DoubleTree Riverside. The theme for the workshop was "Ethanol and Idaho: Partners for the Future." The workshop was a very positive, productive step toward fostering ethanol production and increased use in the state.

Gerry Galinato, Idaho Energy Office, was the emcee for a program that very effectively laid the groundwork for building a larger ethanol industry in the state.

Highlights of the program that were unique to Idaho's were:

  • A proclamation by Governor Dirk Kempthorne was read in which he declared January "Ethanol Awareness Month."
  • The workshop helped launch a month-long program that features the "Try 5" campaign. In the campaign, $25,000 of ethanol-blended gasoline will be given away to customers in coupons that allow them to put $5.00 of ethanol-blended gasoline in their car during announced times on specified days. Experts will be at the stations to answer questions and literature will be distributed. A massive statewide media promotion is also part of the campaign that includes news articles, public service announcements and much more. Boise's Channel 2 is the official campaign coverage channel.
  • Idaho's Division of Energy presented Awards of Appreciation to parties who had played a significant role in Idaho's ethanol history and development. The recipients were: Paul Mann and the J. R. Simplot Company, Jim Glancey of Wyoming Ethanol, Kent Johnson, Fearless Farris Stinker Stations, and Mark Cherry, Automotive Resources, Inc. Robert Hoppie and Gerry Galinato did the honors of presenting the awards.
  • Following lunch, an excellent display of renewable-fueled vehicles, featured a police car, a racecar, a race motorcycle and a van fueled by aquanol, a mixture of 30% water and 70% ethanol.

Executive Summary

The results of the work group discussions and the wrap-up session are provided below. The common threads throughout all sessions were that agriculture needs to take some aggressive steps to turn the current poor economy around. Ethanol may a tool to help meet that need. The public and school kids need more education and awareness about the benefits of ethanol. More information is needed to determine if and where an expanded ethanol production industry is viable in Idaho. Some state assistance may be necessary; hence, legislators need to be brought on board. Leadership is needed in order to keep the momentum rolling, and an ethanol work group should be formed that meets on a regular basis.

Specifics of the Sessions

As shown on the attached agenda, following the general session, work groups were held in which three specific areas were discussed: Policy, Agriculture and Forestry, and Ethanol Performance as a Fuel. The primary points that arose in each of those sessions were then further discussed when the general session reconvened at the end of the day.


Challenges and/or Barriers
  • Build a relationship with Big Oil
  • Need a requirement to use 10%blends across the state (like Minnesota)
  • Organization and leadership
  • The public needs education
  • There are only two years to save our farming community in Idaho
  • Ethanol still needs to be less expensive to produce to remain competitive

  • It's a proven product – 15 years
  • Stinker Stations – 15 years
  • Simplot has been making it - 15 years
  • Has not caused the environmental problems of MTBE

Recommended Actions
  • Talk to air regulators
  • Energy Division should take the leadership role
  • Form an Ethanol Work Group that meets regularly
  • Look at grant possibilities
  • Increase awareness including children (advertising / education)
  • Standardize logo for recognition
  • Bioenergy Center (research and development) in Idaho
  • Economic analysis of plant for Idaho (include air quality and water quality)
  • Hold a plant construction workshop (Ethanol Plant Development Handbook could be foundation for it).

More information on a regular basis to the public
  • Visit editorial boards
  • Utilize the Internet
  • Letters to the editor
  • Support the local chapter of EPAC
  • Encourage the Governor to become a member of the Governors' Ethanol Coalition
  • Study Brazil's experience

How can we use the information from today's workshop?
  • Fill tank with ethanol
  • Talk to Albertson's about marketing it
  • IdaCorp and fuel cells
  • Get Cenex more involved with efforts

Significant ideas
  • Take a closer look at Minnesota's successful program
  • Do anything we can do to add value to products
  • Heighten interest in Idaho to expand ethanol use and production
  • Continue the positive, useful meetings/workshops
  • Reduce oil dependence


Opportunities and Successes
  • Replacement of 10% gasoline
  • Economic benefits from the construction of plants
  • Value-added
  • Freedom for farmers
  • To get the state to use E85
  • Maintain Idaho's open space
  • Rural economic development
  • Air quality

Challenges and/or Barriers
  • Depends on federal government incentive
  • Large amounts of dollars are needed for financing
  • Lingering performance rumors
  • People's perception (lack of education)
  • Public relations
  • Some major oil companies
  • Retail facility maintenance (e.g., water in the tank)

Next Steps
  • Build some plants
  • Ethanol Work Group (broad-based) meeting regularly
  • Agency designated the task of promoting ethanol
  • Focus on legislators


Opportunities and Successes
  • Carbon credits
  • Incentives for products
  • 20.5 billion board feet of public timber annually
  • Maintain clean air – Federal Highway funds
  • Regulations are in place for clean air

Challenges and/or Barriers
  • Being forced into compliance
  • Politics
  • Lack of understanding
  • Low fuel prices (lower than ethanol)
  • Regulation
  • Farmers going out of business
  • Next steps
  • Leadership
  • Educate public
  • Educate youth (classroom 4th, 5th, 6th grades)
  • Appeal to patriotism
  • Incentives to business for using ethanol
  • Explore use of forest biomass
  • Money for new research and research in progress
  • Work together
  • Make it a requirement that state and federal fleets use ethanol
  • Get students involved
  • Need to get a plant built
  • Expand federal loans for cooperatives
  • Develop more financing options
  • Tap landfills


Opportunities and Successes
  • Find ways to encourage use of higher percentages of ethanol in fuels
  • Ethanol has lower emission
  • Hybrid electrical vehicle
  • Small biomass plants

Challenges and/or Barriers
  • Some oil companies
  • The public is unaware of the benefits

Next steps
  • Automobile companies and oil companies agree on issues (e.g., pipelines, etc.)
  • More competition at university level
  • Push the envelope; don't take what is currently being done as the maximum
  • More awareness/education


"What future action do you feel is necessary to move a biomass industry forward in Idaho?"

  • Keep a program going as part of Idaho's Rural Development activities
  • Form a work group. I will participate.
  • Human involvement
  • Educate the public
  • Get started
  • Exposure, purpose, money
  • We do need a work group (leadership)
  • Consumer access to alternative fuels; state fleets and other fleets operating with alternative fuels.
  • Public awareness
  • State funding, awareness programs
  • Continued building
  • Legislative action, public awareness/education
  • Increase public awareness
  • Form the study group
  • Idaho State government needs to get a committee together to initiate a start
  • Education of the public
  • Legislative support, low cost financing
  • Continued education
  • Educate people about ethanol; showing the good side of ethanol
  • Frequent meetings
  • Market creation, tech and financing assistance for coop and project formation
  • Ethanol working group.
  • Technology has to allow price competitiveness of ethanol with gasoline
  • Group of local citizens to push forward, legislative incentives
  • Education of farming community
  • Get central leadership and action committees
  • Develop public policy and tax policy
  • Educate public
  • Work on education and PSAs used in the media
  • Organization and education
  • Work with government to get incentives

If you would like to be notified about the US DOE Ethanol Workshop Series Workshops, please provide your contact information to Anne Wester:

Anne Wester
Conference Planning Assistant
BBI International
PO Box 1146
Salida, Colorado 81201
Phone: 719-539-0300
Fax: 719-539-0301

  8:00 AM - 9:00 AM     Registration and Continental Breakfast
  9:00 AM - 9:15 AM     Welcoming Remarks
Robert Hoppie, Administrator, Idaho Energy Division
  9:15 AM - 9:30 AM     Federal Bioenergy Initiative
Ann Hegnauer, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fuels Development
  9:30 AM - 10:00 AM     Keynote Address: "A National Overview - the Dynamics of Ethanol"
Eric Vaughn, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association, Washington, DC
  10:00 AM - 10:15 AM     Break
  10:15 AM - 10:45 AM     "Why Ethanol?"

Moderator: Gerald Galinto, Idaho Division of Energy- An Idaho Skeptic's Perspective - A case-in-point of how knowledge is enlightening. Dick Larson, Idaho Department of Water Resources

- The Significance of Ethanol on Health and the Environment Idaho is proud of its clean air, and ethanol can help reduce air pollution and offer a healthier environment for Idaho's residents and tourists. - Mike McGowan, Department of Environmental Quality

- In-State Economic Impact of Ethanol Production An overview of a recently completed economic impact analysis for the state of Wisconsin and how the results apply to Idaho. - Pam Tetarenko, BBI International

- And There's More National energy security, distiller's grains, and value-added agriculture are just some of the further factors to consider when answering the question, "Why Ethanol?" - Shirley Ball, Ethanol Producers and Consumers

  10:45 AM - 12:15 PM     State Crops and Resources that can be Used and How Ethanol is Made Nationwide.

Idaho is first in potato production, second in sugar beet and barley, seventh in wheat, and has an abundance of forestry

Moderator: Jim Glancey, Wyoming Ethanol

- How ethanol is made and a look at forest residues as a feedstock - Mark Yancey, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

- Potatoes, an Idaho company & a leader in the nation - Paul Mann, J.R. Simplot

- Sugar beets, a potential new feedstock - Dr. Joy Doran, Central Michigan University

  1:00 PM - 1:30 PM     Alternatively Fueled Vehicle Display and Networking Opportunity
  1:30 PM - 2:45 PM     Breakout Work Groups

Participants will break into work groups to discuss in-depth opportunities, barriers, and action items for development of an even larger ethanol production industry in Idaho.

Agriculture & Forestry Work Group Chair: Dick Rush, Farm Services Admin.

- Dave Kolsrud, Agri-Energy LLC Dave is a farmer in Minnesota and a member of a new generation, farmer-owned ethanol plant cooperative.

- Representative, U.S. Forest Service The Forest Service has been studying the possibilities of reducing risk of catastrophic fires by converting residues and small diameter trees into ethanol.

Ethanol Performance in Vehicles Work Group Chair: Gerald Fleischman, Idaho Division of Energy

- Mark Cherry, Automotive Resources, Inc. Mark¹s Idaho company has developed a new fuel called Aquanol.

- Howard Haines, Montana Department of Environmental Quality Howard is the leader of research and testing on improving air quality by using ethanol in snowmobiles.

- An automotive expert While former problems regarding ethanol use in automobiles have been solved, questions will be welcomed and answered.

State Policy Initiatives Work Group Chair: Kent Johnson, Fearless Ferris Stinker Stations

- Ralph Groschen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Ralph was a key player in the development of what is called the "Minnesota Model" for ethanol.

- Kathy Bryan, BBI International This company tracks all incentive programs that are in place across the country, some of which may be applicable to Idaho.

  2:45 PM - 3:00 PM     Break
  3:00 PM - 4:00 PM     "Where do we go from here?"

Discussion Facilitator: - Ken Baker, Idaho Energy Division

Following the breakout sessions, participants will re-group and, using the outcomes of the work groups and new ideas, determine what action items need to occur and develop a pathway to implement them. A task force will be formed that will guide the efforts during the coming months.

  4:00 PM    Adjournment

Everyone is encouraged to use the knowledge learned in the workshop and educate others in the spirit of the Governor¹s Ethanol Awareness Month.


About the Programs

Renewable Diesel Workshops:
NREL Goals: ..."to educate key public officials and the general public about biodiesel as a transportation fuel" and ..."to build state and local coalitions that would form the nuclei of a support group that would promote and eventually lead to local biodiesel production and use."

Ethanol Producers' Technical Workshops:
Perspectives from ethanol producers, production technology providers, and government researchers. Those in attendance were given the task of exploring the challenges and opportunities presented by combining cellulosic ethanol streams with existing grain streams.

US DOE Ethanol Workshop Series:
A series of one-day, state-level workshops to educate key public officials and the general public about ethanol as a transportation fuel.

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