I'm in St. Paul this week for to cover the 20th annual conference and trade show of the American Coalition for Ethanol, or ACE. The trade group is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where I live, and has been exploring and growing the ethanol industry for about as long as anyone.
This year's event promises to be a pivotal moment for everyone interested in the industry. But it should also be a focus for for anyone interested in renewable energy: this is a gathering of the players who have the greatest potential to alter the energy profile of the United States. This much is certain: never has the industry gathered with much opportunty or as much antagonism as it does here at the Riverplace in the heart of St. Paul.
Full disclosure: in the course of doing business as a creative director and writer, I've done a ton of work for the ethanol industry. So I've learned quite a bit about it, and one of the chief things on my mind as I blog from the event are the shortcomings in the industry's commutations and overall brand. You may be among the skeptics, the antagonists or the misinformed, but I'm here to tell you I'm a believer. And as I blog the event in the next two days, I'll share some of the news that may make you one, too.
No one in the ethanol industry thinks their product is a silver bullet. But it's a very, very important start. So it goes with this post. Stay tuned.