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Biodiesel Bulletin


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




August 1, 2016  
Reform to Biodiesel Producer's Tax Credit

St. Louis Enjoys Cleaner Skies

Growth in the Biodiesel Industry

Comment Period Closes on Renewable Fuel Standard Proposal

Protecting the Earth, One Song at a Time

NBF Elects New Board Member

World Petroleum Output Squeezing Domestic Production

Reform to Biodiesel Producer’s Tax Credit

Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. recently introduced new legislation to reform the biodiesel tax credit to a multi-year, production credit. This is a critical step forward for the biodiesel industry’s efforts to have the reformed biodiesel tax credit passed this calendar year. 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 change to a multi-year extension will ensure that the on-again, off-again cycle of expiration will not continue and 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.

It is critical that the tax bills receive as many cosponsors as possible to show House leaders that it has strong bipartisan support across the country and deserves to be passed.

With an extended election-year break this year, there is little time left on the legislative calendar before the tax incentive expires on Dec. 31. Biodiesel supporters must remain focused in the coming weeks on garnering support for the tax bills to win passage by year-end.

NBB is calling on all biodiesel supporters to reach 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.

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St. Louis Enjoys Cleaner Skies

The air surrounding the Lambert St. Louis International Airport is clearer than ever, thanks to American made biodiesel. Three hundred vehicles and more than 1,000 pieces of small equipment that comprise the airport’s ground fleet now rely on biodiesel. However, according to Fleet Manager Michael Bernich, it took a few years of experimentation to get there.

Searching for environmentally friendly methods to fuel ground operations, Lambert began testing biodiesel blends in the late 1980’s with 20 of its fleet vehicles. Out of several different blends, they settled on B20, as it proved to be optimal for the St. Louis climate year-round. B20 refers to a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

As it turns out, clean air isn’t the only advantage of using the alternative fuel. For the airport’s ground fleet, biodiesel has proven to be a low-maintenance option and a major cost saver. Bernich explains how biodiesel’s higher lubricity has decreased the need for frequent fuel injector cleanings and fuel pump replacements. As a result, the engines last longer and work better than when traditional diesel is used.

The airport’s dedication to alternative fuels has set a new standard in the industry. St. Louis’ example has served to help biodiesel take off in fleets nationwide.

To Bernich, however, the reward is much greater. He speaks with pride knowing he is supporting the use of American made fuel that will create more jobs, boost our economy, and ultimately create a better world for future generations.

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Growth in the Biodiesel Industry

It’s no secret that the biodiesel industry is on the rise. From humble beginnings of only 25 million gallons in 2004 the US consumed a record 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel last year. This year looks to be well on track for another record breaking year due in part to higher volumes from the Renewable Fuel Standard and an active biodiesel tax credit.

As the volumes continue to grow, the industry has seen more production come back online. BIOX and World Energy teamed up this past month, announcing a joint venture to acquire and operate a 90 million gallon biodiesel production facility in Texas.

“The joint venture enables us to lever our collective strengths to serve customers better than ever before,” says Gene Gebolys, CEO of World Energy. The company is proud to be able to provide clean burning biodiesel “by rail, truck, barge, ship, and pipeline to the biggest biofuels markets in the U.S.”

Industry growth and expansion means more biodiesel, and more biodiesel means less carbon pollution. The Minnesota American Lung Association is the latest to release information explaining how biodiesel blends are an effective solution to reducing both carbon emissions and traditional air pollutants. The study found that biodiesel prevented 130 tons of particulate matter, which can cause wheezing, coughing, and may trigger asthma attacks.

Benefits like these show that the growing biodiesel industry plays an important role in keeping America’s air clean and its citizens healthy.

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Comment Period Closes on Renewable Fuel Standard Proposal

July 11 marked the closure of EPA’s formal comment period on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposal. The National Biodiesel Board filed formal comments on behalf of the industry, specifically addressing the Biomass-based Diesel volume for 2018 and other fuel categories for 2017. The comments outline the policy and legal justification for growing the biodiesel and Advanced Biofuel volumes more than has been proposed.

“We believe the evidence clearly shows that growing biodiesel and renewable diesel volumes will help achieve this Administration’s goals for strengthening the economy, reducing carbon emissions and other costly pollution, and diversifying and strengthening fuel markets that are now dangerously dependent on petroleum,” NBB wrote to the EPA. “The RFS and specifically the Biomass-based Diesel program do this in a cost-effective way that benefits consumers through lower costs at the diesel pump.”

NBB is asking that the EPA revise the proposed volumes upward to at least 2.5 billion gallons for Biomass-based Diesel and 4.75 billion gallons for overall Advanced Biofuels. NBB’s comments are supported by a number of economic studies, feedstock analysis, and other supporting information submitted to the EPA.

NBB would like to thank all who submitted comments to the EPA in recent weeks through NBB’s website and through the EPA website. With the comment period now closed, NBB will turn to the work of meeting with Administration officials in Washington who will make decisions on the final rule. Additionally, this month, 40 U.S. senators, a record number of supporters, signed a letter calling for the EPA to increase the volumes. The letter, led by Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., was signed by a bipartisan group of additional senators from coast to coast.

The EPA has said it plans to finalize the rule on or before Nov. 30.

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Protecting the Earth, One Song at a Time

During the summer months it is easy to go outside and see the beauty of the earth. People take vacations all around the globe just to see what this planet has to offer. But people don’t always offer back as much as they take. However, musicians like Jack Johnson are looking to change that by incorporating more sustainable choices into their lives.

With music festivals like the 2015 Bonnaroo Festival generating 679 tons of waste over the course of four days, it’s clear that people need to take action. Music icons like Jack Johnson, Adele, U2, and more have worked hard to eliminate disposable plastics from their tours, use renewable energy sources, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The Dave Matthews Band combines a couple of these goals by traveling in a biodiesel tour bus. Biodiesel is found by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gas emission by at least 57 percent. The more than two billion gallons of biodiesel used in the US last year reduced carbon emissions by more than 18 million tons. That’s equal to removing 3.8 million cars from the road, planting 466 million new trees, or preserving nearly 15 million acres of mature forests.

While famous musicians can help organize people and do their part to protect the environment, average citizens are already helping by using America’s advanced biofuel, biodiesel.

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NBF Elects New Board Member

The National Biodiesel Foundation recently elected Lindsey Fitzgerald of Renewable Energy Group, Inc. as its newest executive board member. Fitzgerald is based out of Washington, DC and joins the NBF on behalf of REG. The Foundation appreciates her willingness to serve and is excited to work with her.

"I am excited to be a part of such an amazing Foundation that focuses on biodiesel research and education. Over the past several years, REG has been a constant supporter and donor to the Foundation, and I have seen the benefits first hand.  Now is a perfect opportunity to become fully involved in the NBF’s daily activities and decision making," stated Fitzgerald after being elected on to the board.

The National Biodiesel Foundation is a non-profit organization that works closely with the biodiesel industry trade association, the National Biodiesel Board, for the advancement of biodiesel. Biodiesel is America’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. The Foundation funds research and education efforts that address how the use of biodiesel can improve air quality, boost economic development, and help our nation achieve energy independence.

Just some of the efforts of the foundation include biodiesel technical training seminars, sponsorship of US Department of Energy Clean Cities biodiesel workshops, support of the Annual Biofuels Science and Sustainability Tour, sustainability modeling work, and conference scholarships for Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel members through the Dallas Hanks memorial fund. 

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World Petroleum Output Squeezing Domestic Production

The Middle East has returned to the top oil producing region with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) taking the largest share of global output since the 1970s. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, this has given OPEC an edge in its fight for market share.

“The rise of American oil production from shale formations had reduced consumer reliance on Middle East crude in recent years. But a surge in production from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran this year—coupled with falling shale oil output during a price slump—has changed the equation, according to the International Energy Agency’s closely watched monthly report,” the article said.

With America’s reliance on one main source of energy, petroleum, this surge in output has had significant impact on domestic production.

“The IEA and other analysts have warned that this prolonged period of lower prices has caused massive investment cutbacks in the oil industry that could cause oil consumers to rely even more on the Middle East in the future,” the article continued.

By adding new domestic sources of fuels for transportation we can reduce the impact of OPEC and other world markets on our economy. Biodiesel is a domestically produced option that can help diversify our energy needs and keep America moving forward. 

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For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.

 

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