ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Ten years ago, no organization brought together the diverse stakeholders in the fuels industry. NACS took the lead in launching the Fuels Institute in February 2013 to share information, influence policy and conduct research on a range of topics related to the industry.
Although NACS was the initial sponsor, it understood that the Fuels Institute had to exist as a separate organization in order to attract a wide range of participants. Today that vision has come to fruition, as the Fuels Institute partners include many convenience and fuel retailers but also refiners, biodiesel producers, vehicle and equipment makers, EV charging companies and many others.
The Fuels Institute does not advocate for any particular policy. This, combined with its diverse roster of partners and stringent review process, means its reports are go-to publications for people seeking to understand the fuels industry.
John Eichberger is the executive director of the Fuels Institute. Previously he was a lobbyist with NACS and helped create the organization. “We’re cutting through the hype,” Eichberger said. “The big thing is that you’re going to get straight shooting from us. We’re going to tell you exactly what we think is happening without prejudice, without bias.” He noted, “We don’t lobby. But we educate the lobbyists.”
The Fuels Institute aims to create a new report about once every quarter. “But I get excited,” Eichberger said with a laugh. “So, I think we have about 12 projects going on right now.”
Recent reports include:
In the past several years the Fuels Institute has sharpened its focus to align with the overarching trend in the fuels industry. “If you look at our reports now, they’re all focused on one thing: The global trend and direction of reducing carbon emissions. We don’t get into whether that’s right or wrong, but we are focusing on how you do it,” Eichberger said. “How do you do it effectively? How do you do it in a way that dramatically improves the environment while supporting consumers?”
An upcoming report will focus on how to improve carbon emissions from combustion engines. “Even if EVs are gaining market share, it’s a long time before they make a real impact on emissions. We’ve got 270 to 280 million vehicles in the United States now, so reducing carbon emissions from combustion engines can have a meaningful impact,” he said.
Eichberger invites industry stakeholders to read the reports of the Fuels Institute, which are available on the Fuels Institute website.
The next meeting of the Fuels Institute is March 22-24 in St. Louis, Missouri. About 150 to 175 people typically attend. Registration is open now.