Embattled ethanol industry gathers in Denver, plans to woo oil companies

Clean-burning fuel made from corn!

Ethanol, a once-sparkly futuristic product, now conjures visions of doomed products from previous futures past, now-comic technologies like dot-matrix printers, music cds and newspapers! Which is why nearly 2000 concerned members of the ethanol industry have assembled this week in Denver.

Attendees of the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop here are exchanging tips on how to stay afloat while researchers develop next-generation cellulosic ethanol, a cleaner-burning more efficient product made from wood waste, switch grass and algae, for example.

AP reports that the ethanol companies are looking to ride into the future in part with money from the past. In addition to government funding, the industry is looking for “new types of investors such as oil companies.”

You can imagine the “life-raft” pitches that will fill the halls of downtown hotel conference rooms and restaurants this week: “C’mon. We’re in this together, galldammit!”

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