Biofuel stakeholders and experts from across the nation will be in Omaha for the annual Ethanol: Emerging Issues Forum at the La Vista Conference Center March 7-8. Governor Pete Ricketts will open the event and welcome attendees.
The Nebraska Ethanol Board organizes the forum, which is in its 14th year. The event brings together ethanol producers and others integrally involved in production, technology, policymaking and marketing of biofuels and its co-products. The event runs from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 8:15 a.m. to noon Friday.
Topics include an overview and discussion of the most pressing federal policies, regulatory and legal actions, and markets affecting ethanol demand. Speakers will also discuss navigating the introduction and expansion of E15, as well as opportunities in emerging renewable chemical and co-product markets. The federal policy panel includes industry leaders from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, Novozymes and the Renewable Fuels Association.
Panelists at the forum will also provide insight on workforce needs and accessing trained workers at every level. These speakers include Scott Asmus, program manager with the Nebraska Department of Labor, Eric Zeece, innovation manager at Invest Nebraska Corporation; and John Pierce, instructor and chair of the Energy Generation Operations Program at Southeast Community College.
Other scheduled presentations include marketing experiences with expanding the availability of E15 and higher ethanol blends, as well as a discussion of regulatory considerations for renewable chemical production presented by Richard Engler, Ph.D., former senior staff scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Experts including Craig Willis, senior vice president of global markets at Growth Energy, and Kristy Moore of KMoore Consulting, will discuss trade, ethanol exports and new markets that are on the horizon for the ethanol and renewable chemical and co-products industries.
More than 150 ethanol industry stakeholders are expected to attend the forum. Online registration and a detailed agenda are available on the Nebraska Ethanol Board website. Scholarships also are available to college and university students and can be accessed online.
The Ethanol 2019: Emerging Issues Forum is presented by the Nebraska Ethanol Board with a range of local and national sponsors including: American Coalition for Ethanol, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group, BioNebraska, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, CoBank, Direct Automation, EcoEngineers, Farm Credit Services of America, Fluid Quip Process Technologies, Green Plains, Growth Energy, Hartland Renewable Fuels, Husch Blackwell, Kinect Energy Group, Kutak Rock, National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, Nebraska Corn Board, Novozymes, POET Ethanol Products, Renewable Fuels Nebraska, Solenis, Urban Air Initiative and USDA Rural Development.