New US ethanol group aims to unite, not divide – POET

24 February 2009 22:43  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--Newly formed US ethanol trade group Growth Energy was created to help unify the sector, not to compete with other industry associations, founding firm POET Energy said on Tuesday.

Growth Energy was launched in November 2008 under a pledge to pursue the interests of the US ethanol industry with a new, aggressive voice.

The association made national headlines in February by recruiting retired US general and former presidential hopeful Wesley Clark as its co-chairman.

Clark understands US energy security issues and the need for a strong ethanol industry, POET chief executive Jeff Broin said on the sidelines of the National Ethanol Conference in San Antonio.

He downplayed suggestions that Growth Energy was created to compete with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which represents about 90% of US ethanol producers.

But he acknowledged that industry leaders have different views on how to best tackle issues affecting the sector.

Earlier, RFA president Bob Dinneen called for unity within the industry and took an apparent swipe at the new lobby group.

"We have worked to build coalitions, and recognised that testosterone alone is not a political strategy," Dinneen said in an opening address to the conference.

He also quoted the famous saying by the Civil War-era US president Abraham Lincoln that "a house divided against itself cannot stand".

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By: William Lemos
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