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Biodiesel Bulletin


The Biodiesel Bulletin is published monthly by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).




May 2, 2016  

New York City Names Green Fleet of the Year

Iowa Lawmakers Pass Biodiesel Tax Credit

EPA Sends Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes for Review

Minnesota's Improved Air Quality Attributed to 10 Years of Biodiesel Use

Earth Day 2016 Highlights Climate Efforts

NBB Members Celebrate Achievements

Biodiesel on the Water

New York City Named Green Fleet of the Year

Keith Kerman.  Photo credit:  Clean Fuels Ohio
One of the biggest biodiesel users in the country, the New York City fleet, was named the 2016 Green Fleet of the Year. The massive fleet totals more than 28,000 vehicles of all shapes and sizes and all of their diesel vehicles run on biodiesel blends. With so many vehicles doing all the different jobs necessary to keep the big apple moving it has become one of the most diverse fleets around and it allows for the use of a wide variety of alternative power vehicle technologies from biodiesel, to hybrids, to electric, and even solar power.

The city has set a goal to cut vehicle emissions in half by 2025 and by 80 percent by 2035 as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Clean Fleet initiative. The city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services and deputy commissioner and chief fleet officer Keith Kerman are tasked with leading the charge.

"We want New York City to be the most sustainable city in the world, and we want it to be a leader. On the other hand, what are the cost implications of children's cancer?" Kerman asks. "None of these things are mutually exclusive. If investing in the largest clean fleet in the country improves our image, improves residents' health, and [still] saves money, that's great.”

Biodiesel has proven to be a workable option for the city as they continue to implement more low-carbon, renewable options.

“New York City is proud to be a leader in sustainability, but I think we’ve only just begun,” Kerman said.

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Iowa Lawmakers Pass Biodiesel Tax Credit

The state of Iowa once again showed its dedication to biodiesel last month by passing legislation to extend and expand biodiesel tax incentives. The bill will extend both the Biodiesel Production Credit and the Biodiesel Promotion Retail Tax Credit through 2024 with an expansion to the PRTC coming in 2018.

Iowa has much to gain from an extended tax credit as the state is home to twelve biodiesel processing plants that account for sixteen percent of US biodiesel production. The new legislations aims to increase those numbers by making it more attractive for new facilities and producers to move in. This bill comes on the heels of another tax credit designed to accelerate growth in the biotech industry, which further adds to Iowa’s desire for growth and enhancement of renewable energy.

“These policies help keep biodiesel production in Iowa, reinforcing our state’s leadership position in the drive for renewable energy,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. “We should see biodiesel begin to make up a more substantial portion of our state’s motor fuel supply.”

More biodiesel being produced in Iowa means the potential for more jobs on top of the 3,000 plus jobs that the industry supported last year. In addition to the state specific tax credits, the Iowa biodiesel industry is able to take advantage of the federal tax credit as well, which only improves the potential for growth and expansion.

Steps like these show that Iowa is committed to a bright future with clean, renewable biodiesel.

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EPA Sends Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes for Review

Last month the Environmental Protection Agency sent its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard volumes to the White House for final internal review before the proposed numbers are made public. This is the first official step in this year’s RFS rulemaking process and confirms EPA’s desire to keep the program on track.

The EPA’s proposal covers 2018 volumes for the Biomass-Based Diesel category and 2017 volumes for other RFS categories. OMB will have up to 90 days to review the proposal before sending it back to EPA to release publicly, which will likely occur by mid-June. After the proposal is published to the Federal Register it will be open for public comment and review.

“Last year, the EPA finalized RFS standards calling for modest growth of about 100 million gallons per year to a total standard of 2 billion gallons in 2017,” said Anne Steckel, VP of Federal Affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. “While a step in the right direction, the biodiesel industry is capable of producing far more fuel in the coming years. Americans already used nearly 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2015, and the U.S. industry has more than 1 billion gallons of untapped production capacity.”

NBB continues to work with the EPA and other officials throughout all parts of the rulemaking process to ensure the biodiesel industry’s perspective is heard.

“NBB is asking for reasonable yet meaningful growth for the 2018 Biomass-Based Diesel and the 2017 Advanced biofuel volume categories under the RFS,” said Steckel. “We will be providing EPA with data on domestic capacity, feedstock availability, and the flood of imports taking market share from domestic product to help make the case for increased volumes under the program.”

Under the statue, EPA is required to determine the final renewable fuel volume obligations for the following year by Nov. 30.

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Minnesota's Improved Air Quality Attributed to 10 Years of Biodiesel Use

Air quality in Minnesota has never been better, thanks to the use of biodiesel, according to an analysis released last month by the Minnesota American Lung Association.

ALAMN released the analysis ten years after the implementation of the state’s biodiesel program, touting the reduction in emissions the state has experienced since. Minnesota’s biodiesel statute requires minimum blends of B10 to be used in diesel engines during the summer months (April through September), and blends of B5 in the winter months.

“I think the amount of air pollution we are preventing right now by blending biodiesel into traditional petroleum diesel would surprise many people,” said Robert Moffitt, director of media relations for ALAMN. “For example, we estimate the summer and winter blends used in Minnesota prevent 130 tons of particulate matter, 319 tons of hydrocarbon and 2,634 tons of carbon monoxide emissions from entering our air every year.”

The EPA has designated biodiesel as an Advanced Biofuel, meaning it reduces life-cycle greenhouse gas emission by at least 50 percent. ALAMN found that over the 10-year period with the biodiesel fuel standard for Minnesota in place, the state realized a reduction of more than 7.4 billion pounds, or 3.7 million tons, of carbon dioxide emissions.

Minnesota’s analysis reaffirms numerous scientific studies that confirm that biodiesel is a cleaner-burning renewable fuel that greatly benefits the environment and human health.

For more information, please visit ALAMN’s website here.

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Earth Day 2016 Highlights Climate Efforts

The world joined together last month to celebrate Earth Day and to find ways to help preserve the planet. First celebrated in 1970 and based on the concept of world peace, Earth Day has grown into an annual celebration on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

This year was marked by more than 170 countries coming together to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York. Signing the agreement marks an effort for these countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the effects of climate change.

One way the US is already reducing emissions is by using biodiesel. In fact, last year biodiesel reduced carbon pollution by 18 million metric tons, the equivalent of planting 466 million trees. That is nearly 80 percent less lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum diesel.

This planet is something that needs to be preserved for future generations, and biodiesel is helping to do its part.

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NBB Members Celebrate Achievements

New Leaf President, Jennifer Case

San Diego based biodiesel company New Leaf Biofuel recently celebrated its ten year anniversary. Started in 2006, New Leaf Biofuel’s goal is to provide Southern California communities with an environmentally sound vehicle fuel source, produced from renewable or recycled resources, and grown and manufactured in the United States.

“New Leaf Biofuel is thrilled to provide cleaner-burning Advanced Biofuels to the marketplace to help diversify our fuel supply and reduce emissions for ten years now,” said New Leaf President Jennifer Case. “We are committed to seeing the use of clean, renewable biodiesel continue to grow for years to come.”

Adding to this milestone is their announcement of being recognized as a BQ-9000 producer. This achievement serves to further the company’s efforts to create and provide the highest quality biodiesel available.

On the other side of the country, New York based Sprague Operating Resources LLC celebrated their ten year milestone last week. In ten years Sprague has grown to operate a network of 19 terminals throughout the Northeast.

Other companies such as Renewable Energy Group and Diamond Green Diesel have celebrated success this last month with REG opening a new location in Madison, WI and Diamond Green expanding their production capacity by over 100 million gallons.

These NBB members are sure to have even more achievements like these in the future, all of which are made possible through biodiesel.

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Biodiesel on the Water

The University of Rhode Island continues making waves as a leader in environmentally friendly ocean research. Sustainability is important to Rhode Island due the large amount of marine activity in the state, so URI Graduate School of Oceanography recently brought together marine architects, boat designers and builders, and the operators of research and commercial vessels to discuss strategies for promoting the environmental sustainability of boats and ports during the “Green Boats and Ports for Blue Waters” workshop. By using biodiesel, URI is doing its part to keep the ocean “green.”

URI has been a biodiesel supporter for years. In 2012 the university launched the very first ship in the entire U.S. research fleet to run on biodiesel, the R/V Endeavor. The Endeavor is used to help oceanography and marine students study the ocean, so it is important that it is able to protect that ocean by reducing harmful emissions. The Endeavor’s 53 thousand gallon tank initially ran on a blend of B5, but looks to move all the way up to B20.

URI is using its workshops and expertise to spread the idea of going green to the community and beyond. While there are many out there that are looking to protect the ocean from pollution, commercial shippers are realizing that they are saving more money by using biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a great way to lower harmful emissions, and the University of Rhode Island is proving that from sea to shining sea.

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For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.

 

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