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Showing posts from March, 2011

THE PATH TO A CLEAN, RENEWABLE AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

by Ronald H. Miller


Twenty-five percent of our gasoline from renewable sources by 2022. Eighty percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2036. Is this a trip to Fantasy Island or a challenge worthy of America's innovative prowess? Your answer probably depends whether you support "old" energy or "new" energy.

In 2007, Congress and President Bush codified the Renewable Fuels Standard requiring 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels in our motor fuels by 2022. Now President Obama has laid down a gauntlet reminiscent of the 1960's moon race by calling for a near universal use of renewable power within twenty-five years. Whether America will achieve a clean, sustainable and independent energy future will depend on whether we as a nation can coalesce around this achievable goal. We have the innovative prowess but do we have the necessary commitment? That remains to be seen.

Already some "old" energy pundits are suggesting we go slow. F…

LEST WE FORGET....

by Ronald H. Miller


The other day I was talking to a friend when I mentioned the Oil Embargoes of the 1970's. She was 7 years old in 1973 and has little remembrance of the long gas lines or the "odd" and "even" license plate days just to qualify getting into those long lines. It dawned on me that the post-Boomer generations have no real idea as to the trauma that is inflicted when our oil supply is shut off. As we watch the current events unfold in the Middle East, we must wonder whether possible regime change will take us back to those tumultuous days of four decades ago. Could it even be worse?

From a dependency standpoint things are worse. In the 1970's we imported about 30% of our oil, today it is around 60%. Things would be even worse if it were not for 10% of the gasoline barrel now being provided by domestic biofuels. That's about one million barrels a day of secure domestic production not subject to regime change. It is also $100 million …

WHEN CHANGE BECOMES A THREAT

By Ron Miller


On January 3rd, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association sued USEPA over its ruling to allow 15% ethanol in gasoline for later model automobiles. This is not a surprise as the battle for market share and the consumer's wallet goes on. What began as a nice idea to blunt the oil embargoes of the 1970's is now a real and present danger to fossil fuel interests. This latest action and counteraction are merely steps in this ongoing war over who is going to control the energy mix in America.

The current round began with the Energy Security Act of 2007. That law requires by 2022 that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be used in U.S. motor fuel each year. That's roughly 25% of the gasoline sold in America. This constitutes a serious loss of market share for fossil fuel interests. The genesis of this act and the public policy before is a legitimate concern for our energy security interests. Since 1990 all of America's wars have been fought i…

Staying the Course

Article 1 (First in a series of articles on the U.S. ethanol industry.) By Ronald H. Miller

Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial titled "Al Gore's Ethanol Epiphany" where they state "he concedes the industry he promoted serves no useful service". The editorial itself is hardly an epiphany given the Journal's long history of anti-ethanol bias, preferring to support established big money advertisers in Big Oil and Big Food. Mr. Gore's "epiphany" is hardly that given he has moved on to "greener" pastures (pardon the pun) and needs to reinvent himself with interested financiers such as the gathering in Greece where he made those comments. The scene is reminiscent of 1992 when I met Senator Gore during his Vice Presidential campaign in Illinois. That was another period of economic stress especially in the rural Midwest. During our meeting, the future Vice President said directly to me that "We need a strong ethanol ind…

FORMER AVENTINE CEO, BUSINESS RESOURCES EXEC FORM BIOFUEL CONSULTANCY

2011-02-22 11:42:17 EST
FORMER AVENTINE CEO, BUSINESS RESOURCES EXEC FORM BIOFUEL CONSULTANCY

Phoenix -- Former Aventine CEO Ron Miller teamed up with another former
Aventine official to form a biofuel-related consultancy that has been
operational since last spring, OPIS learned on the sidelines of the
Renewable Fuels Association's (RFA) annual conference here.
Miller and Roger Bushue, former Aventine vice president for Business
Resources and Administration, formed Prisma Advisors to help provide
guidance primarily to start-up biofuel companies, Miller explained to OPIS at the
conference on Monday. Miller retired from Aventine in October 2009, six
months after the ethanol producer filed for bankruptcy protection. Aventine has
since emerged out of bankruptcy.

"We are helping these companies try to get financing ... set up personnel
and providing guidance and counseling," Miller explained, noting that his
company has approximately half a dozen clients using various fuels suc…