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Event Details

DOE Ethanol Workshop Series

Ohio Ethanol Workshop

May 10, 2000
9:00 am to 4:15 pm

Vern Riffe Center
Columbus, Ohio

Workshop Summary

The Ohio Ethanol Workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and supported by the Regional Biomass Energy Program was held on May 10th, 2000 at the Vern Riffe Center. The theme for the workshop was "Exploring Fuel Ethanol, Climate Change, Energy, and other Sustainability Issues." Over 55 various public and private sector representatives participated in the program. Commissioner Don Mason, Public Utilities Commission, gave substantive, opening remarks. Dwayne Siekman, Ohio Corn Growers Association, served as emcee for the program. The workshop was a very positive, productive step toward fostering ethanol use and production in the state through education, information exchange, and developing public/private partnerships in Ohio.

A special feature of the workshop was the display of the Cedarville College's Ethanol Vehicle Challenge Silverado and Malibu. The team was departing for the 2000 competition in Ottawa and as part of the send-off ceremonies, Joe Haines, Deputy Director, Ohio Department of Agriculture, presented a resolution from the Ohio Senate to Cedarville team representatives.

The forenoon program covered extensive background information, including a presentation by Dr. Rattan Lal, of The Ohio State University on carbon sequestration and global climate change issues. At lunch, Eric Vaughn, President of the Renewable Fuels Association, challenged the delegates to seize the opportunity and build an ethanol industry in the state that consumes more ethanol annually than any other in the country. The afternoon focused on information specifically applicable to Ohio. Programs in other states and existing Ohio incentives were discussed. To conclude and set a path for follow-on activities, Keith Stimpert of the Ohio Farm Bureau asked the audience what they would like legislators to know about ethanol in order to encourage them to support the development of the industry.

Summary of the Wrap-up discussions

Keith Stimpert led a discussion of legislative issues. Unfortunately, legislators invited to participate in the panel were busy with the Capitol Budget and not able to attend. Keith told the story about the opening of South Point Ethanol.

Keith asked the attendees: "If the legislators were here, what would you want them to know?"

Some of the questions, comments, and suggestions from the participants were:

What's the possibility of getting legislation in Ohio for state incentives for production and blending of ethanol like in Minnesota?

What are the prospects for legislators to get it done?

There will be 45-70 minimum changes of seats in the Ohio House/Senate next year under term limits, so there is a need for continued educational outreach effort on ethanol.

The schedule for building a plant is very important in terms the federal credit sunset of 2007.

How could the ethanol industry promote agriculture?

It is important to secure a market for ethanol in addition to building an ethanol plant. It's the chicken and the egg situation.

The vertical integration opportunity through farmer cooperatives was addressed.

Cooperatives are different in Ohio and this needs to be taken into consideration when talking about the prospects of closed-loop coops.

The farmers' land is tied up with other large, agri-industries, such as cattle. Farmers are losing income to this and not using it for their own pocket books. Farmers need to start receiving payback through investments.

Per Ralph Groschen's presentation: There is a $12-18 dollars return on $1 investment.

Michigan is considering offering a potential plant a singular lump sum of financial assistance rather than a direct payment to the producer per gallon produced.

Some funding needs to be found for feasibility study Minnesota has one story, and we have to investigate Ohio's story.

Someone has to take the lead on pursuing a study and development of an industry.

There is an opportunity to get involved in the development of an industry in Ohio by establishing and participating in an ethanol committee.

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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

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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