Growth energy is going through some growth of its own. The new group of ethanol producers and advocates announced at the 2009 Fuel Ethanol Workshop in June that it is welcoming another industry organization into its fold.
The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition is becoming Growth Energy Market Development. While their name will change, much of their mission will remain the same: to continue the drive to increase availability of higher ethanol blends and flex fuel vehicles.
“For more than a decade, the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition has been carrying on the important mission of increasing the availability and use of ethanol,” said Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, Co-Chairman of Growth Energy. “We are excited that they decided to join forces with us and continue that work as a part of Growth Energy.”
The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition is the second organization to join Growth Energy since its inception in November 2008. The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council joined Growth Energy late last year.
NEVC has been successful in its mission over the last 13 years.
“In 1995, the year before NEVC was founded, there were 10 E85 pumps and 500 FFVs in the United States,” said Phil Lampert, who was executive director of NEVC since 1997 and is now Vice President of Market Development for Growth Energy. “Today, we have more than 2,000 E85 and blender pumps and more than 8 million FFVs. As part of Growth Energy, I look forward to working with a wide variety of supportive groups and individuals to double or triple those numbers in the next few years.”
Adding NEVC’s resources and employees to Growth Energy will bolster the group’s aggressive goals to proliferate blender pumps across the country, Lampert said.
NEVC does bring substantial resources to the table. Since 1996, the group has worked to bring together government leaders, environmentalists, consumers and industry leaders. They have sought out and found common ground with other organizations that share their goal of reducing oil imports, stimulating the economy and improving the environment. NEVC’s work led to a membership that has grown to 1,600.
The large membership, combined with the original group of Growth Energy members, will magnify the group’s impact on the debate surrounding the nation’s transportation fuel supply.
Lampert said he will be engaging those members, keeping them up to date on the organization’s work and goals, and giving them the tools to become active advocates for ethanol.
“Growth Energy Market Development will continue to provide the necessary information to members so they can educate consumers, motorists, fuel retailers and policy makers about the benefits of e85 and higher ethanol blends as well as the use of FFVs,” Lampert said.
In a recent message, Lampert encouraged ethanol supporters to join him in supporting the Green Jobs Waiver for approval of up to 15 percent ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.
“The more people we have on our side, the stronger the voice will be for energy independence,” he said.
NEVC, now Growth Energy Market Development, is already showing the considerable strength of its voice for ethanol producers, distributers and consumers across the country.