Keeping Up the Drumbeat on
Tax Credit Advocacy
The National Biodiesel Board and biodiesel industry supporters had a brief
three weeks in September to advocate for the biodiesel production tax credit before
Congress left for their districts, not returning
to D.C. until after elections in mid-November. Although lawmakers will be away
from Capitol Hill for some time, it is important for biodiesel supporters to remain
engaged on the tax credit issue to ensure its passage by years-end.
July, Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. introduced new
legislation to reform the biodiesel tax credit to a multi-year, production credit.
Earlier this Spring, Representatives Kristi Noem, R-S.D. and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.
introduced similar legislation in the House. Both biodiesel tax bills seek to
extend the biodiesel tax incentive through 2019 and reform it as a domestic production
credit. The introduction of these bills is a critical step forward for the biodiesel
industry’s efforts to have the reformed biodiesel tax credit passed this calendar year.
change to a multi-year extension will ensure that the on-again, off-again cycle
of expiration will not continue to disrupt the industry’s ability to grow and
expand. Also, reforming the incentive from a blender’s credit to a domestic
producer’s credit would refocus the incentive on American production.
supporters can help advocate by reaching out to their Senators and Representatives
to ask them to co-sponsor companion legislation (S.
3188 and H.R.
5240) for reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit. Lawmaker’s contact
information can be found by visiting the Senate
website here and the House
website here, or by calling the Senate switchboard at 202- 224-3121 or the House at 202-225-3121.
New Data Reaffirms Carbon Benefits
A recent study performed by Purdue Agriculture Economics professor Wally
Tyner presents a more accurate view of data concerning the impact of biofuels
on the environment – namely predicted land use change.
“We now have much
more data,” Tyner said as he presented his research at an alternative fuels
workshop in Macon, Georgia. “We are better equipped to quantify potential land
use change by observing what has actually happened in the real world, and calibrating
our models to make better predictions on that basis.”
Despite recent data
predictions, Tyner and his team from Purdue investigated further to determine
if recent changes in biofuels and agricultural practices would portray a better
outcome. Using the latest version of the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP)
model, Tyner and his team examined the effects of soybean biodiesel production
on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
His hypothesis rang true as the study
results proved that soybean oil reduces carbon emissions by at least 50 percent
when compared to its fossil fuel counterpart. In addition, indirect land use change
emissions could be as much as 70 percent lower than previously predicted.
is rarely achieved when it comes to the theory of indirect land use change, but
one thing is clear,” said Don Scott, National Biodiesel Board director of sustainability.
“As the accuracy and reliability of modeling improves, we observe a steady decline
in the estimates of predicted land use change. This reaffirms that biodiesel reduces
GHG emissions by at least 50 percent and suggests that the real benefit is greater than 80 percent.”
new findings will both reassure consumers of the environmental benefits of
fueling with biodiesel and improve our understanding of how agriculture can respond to the growing demand.
California Expands Climate Goals
Last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed
legislation requiring the state to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990
levels by 2030. Biodiesel is a low-carbon fuel already being used in the state
to reduce emissions and is expected to be a key part of efforts moving forward.
continues to demonstrate its leadership on climate issues with Governor Brown’s
signing of this legislation,” said National Biodiesel Board Director of
State Governmental Affairs Shelby Neal. “The bill will ensure that the future
of biodiesel and other low carbon fuels in California remains bright.”
state already has a number of measures in place for reducing emissions. On the
transportation side, the Low
Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is designed to encourage the production and use
of cleaner, low-carbon fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The LCFS is performance-based
and fuel-neutral, allowing the market to determine how the carbon intensity of
California's transportation fuels will be reduced.
renewable diesel are leading credit generators under the LCFS, and we expect their
presence to continue growing with the expansion of this landmark policy,” said Neal.
shows that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent
and often as much as 85 percent compared to petroleum diesel fuel. Last year,
biodiesel use in the U.S. cut GHG emissions by 18 million tons, or the equivalent
carbon dioxide emissions of 3.8 million cars.
National Biodiesel Conference Around the Corner
The 2017 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo is the premier destination
for everyone involved in the biodiesel industry. Every year hundreds gather
to listen to industry experts, participate in vast networking opportunities, and
see the best that biodiesel has to offer.
Conference attendees can attend sessions
hosted by biodiesel industry leaders from around the country. Topics will range
from biodiesel markets to business practices and everything in between. The conference
will also feature a number of impactful keynote speakers.
This year the conference
takes place January 16-19 in sunny San Diego, California. Attendees can
escape the cold and experience the lively night life that the coastal city has
to offer. San Diego is the perfect choice when it comes to hosting key clients,
engaging new contacts, or interacting with industry leaders.
Another key feature
will be the conference expo hall, which brings together businesses looking to
connect, as well as students from coast to coast presenting new and exciting research
into America’s Advanced Biofuel.
With so much to offer, there is no
question that this is the biodiesel event of the year. Online registration is open soon, with more updates
to schedules and speakers on the way. Join us in “Fueling Our Future.”
Preserves its Parks with Biodiesel
The state of Illinois requires government fleets to use at least five percent
biodiesel but for the Chicago Park District, that is only the starting point.
Park District began using biodiesel in 2011, and now fills up its fleet ranging
from lawnmowers to garbage trucks and log loaders with blends up to B50. With
more than 550 vehicles, CPD uses approximately 8,700 gallons of biodiesel per
year. The city collects used cooking oil from local restaurants and events like
the Taste of Chicago to create their biodiesel.
“We made the move to clean-burning
biodiesel fuel a few years ago,” said Michael Dimitroff, a manager for the Chicago
Park District and member of Chicago Area Clean Cities. “It has been paying off
from the start, helping us to reduce vehicle emissions and save fuel, as well
as save thousands of dollars annually on the cost of fuel.”
As America’s third
largest city, it should come as no surprise that other fleets are starting to
mirror Chicago’s fuel decisions, something that Dimitroff takes pride in.
benefits of using renewable fuels and electric vehicles include reducing greenhouse-gas
emissions, decreasing vehicle emissions, lowering demand for fossil fuels, increasing
demand for domestic based fuels, which increases fuel security, and saving money,”
Dimitroff said. “We’re also proud that the Chicago Park District has become
a benchmark for other municipalities and fleets that want to go green with their fleets.”
NBB Hosts BioFry 2016 to Educate Lawmakers on Biodiesel
NBB hosted BioFry
2016 in Washington, DC last month to educate lawmakers and staffers on the
benefits of biodiesel. The two hour-long event kicked off on Capitol Hill with
two food trucks handing out free french fries. The event attracted more than 500
attendees and gave NBB the opportunity to raise awareness for biodiesel and the
many feedstocks used to make it.
The event drew attention to biodiesel in a new way and
provided a visual reminder that biodiesel can be made from many fats and oils,
including the soybean oil used to cook the french fries and recycled cooking oil
from restaurants and food trucks. Biodiesel’s diverse feedstocks are widely
available nationwide and production facilities often select the feedstock that
is most available to them based on geographic location.
With the success
of BioFry 2016, NBB hopes to host the event annually in its continued education
and outreach efforts in Washington. NBB’s goal is to distinguish biodiesel as
an Advanced Biofuel, reducing emissions from 57-86 percent and leading commercial
production nationwide. Events such as BioFry 2016 provide a fun and entertaining
platform to draw attention to biodiesel.
U.S. Corps of Engineers Sees Biodiesel Benefits First Hand
The United States Army Corps of Engineers recently finished
three-year study on the feasibility of using biodiesel. After extensive
testing the USACE concluded that biodiesel performs well in engines and can reduce
the production of environmentally sensitive emissions.
USACE tested blends
of B5, B10, B15, B20, and even B100, all made from various sources such as soybean
and algal oils. The fuel was tested in 14 different vessels and operators had
no issues related to engine power or efficiency. In fact, USACE found a reduction
of soot as well as an overall cleaner appearance inside the engines.
study also found there was no increase in fuel consumption of B100 at load points,
and the fuel consumption for B100 was actually lower than that of some of the other fuels tested.
military’s use of biodiesel can lead to big strides in energy security.
Biodiesel is a domestically produced fuel source which helps the nation reduce
dependence on petroleum sourced from overseas.
More and more biodiesel users like
USACE are seeing the benefits of America’s Advanced Biofuel. From engine performance
to energy security, biodiesel is helping the nation fuel our future.
the Way for Biodiesel
The Medford Public School district in Medford Township,
New Jersey boasts one of the longest lasting and most successful alternative fuels
program in the nation. The program began as a four-year project in 1997 funded
by the U.S. Department of Energy. Almost twenty years later, the district continues
to operate all 48 buses with cleaner burning biodiesel.
In addition to lowering
their carbon emissions, converting to biodiesel has saved the district $170,000
over the last seventeen years—an average of about $10,000 per year. Recently
retired Director of Operations and Technology, Joe Biluck, attributes this savings
to fewer injection pump and radiator strut failures, as well as an overall extended
life of bus exhaust systems.
The benefits to the program don’t stop here. The district
has also been strategic about sharing these tactics and findings in their classrooms.
The 3,000 students being bused on the bio-fueled fleet twice daily have access
to real world application of some of these strategies.
proven to be one of the many facets to our sustainable strategy,” remarks Biluck.
“It has been very, very effective for us.”
It is his hope that other fleet operators
across the country will
hear their story and replicate it – increasing energy security, environmental
stewardship, and financial responsibility.