Fight for Ethanol Gets a New Weapon

Kansas Viewpoint

BYOethanol marketing effort holds promise for success.

Published on: August 15, 2009
It is good to see the ethanol industry fighting back.

First came Growth Energy, a spirited effort to refute the smear campaign that falsely blamed the industry for food shortages, higher food prices and most recently, destruction of the rain forests. If you haven't been to Growth Energy's website, go check out the clock that challenges Big Food to lower prices.While you're there, look around. It's worth your time.

Now comes a new coalition of old friends. The Renewable Fuels Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol, the National Corn Growers and a growing number of state producer organizations are partnering in BYOethanol, whose goal is to see 5,000 blender pumps installed at retail gas stations across the country within the next three years.

The new effort has a new target audience, the slim-margin, often-misunderstood, independent retailers and petroleum marketers.

By taking the message that ethanol can help them improve their bottom line, they hope to forge a stronger relationship with the people who ultimately sell their product to the public.

Many retailers are likely to face the expense of new dispenser pumps in coming months, thanks to pending changes in the law about credit card readers. By getting ahead of that change, BYOethanol helps to make retailers understand that for only  a slight additional cost they can make those new dispensers blender pumps and can position themselves to take advantage of tax credit, renewable fuels incentives and the potential for selling multiple blends of ethanol in the future.

By targeting the message to the people who are the decision makers on what kind of pumps are at stations across America, BYOethanol stands to get the most bang for the buck.

Time will tell if it will work. But it sure is good to see the industry develop another weapon for the ongoing fight.