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Biodiesel Bulletin


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




July 2, 2018  

Proposed RFS Growth Sends Hopeful Signal to Biodiesel Industry

Midwest Voters Losing Faith in Administration's Commitment to Renewables

NBB Expands Communications Roles

 

Biodiesel Industry Makes Its Voice Heard

Vehicle Wrap Program Promotes Biodiesel Branding

Exploring Biodiesel Seminars Educate Biodiesel Users Nationwide

Biodiesel Powers Disney's First Love

 
Proposed RFS Growth Sends Hopeful Signal to Biodiesel Industry

The biodiesel industry expressed appreciation last month as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed an increase in the biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020 along with increased advanced biofuel volumes for 2019 under the Renewable Fuel Standard. However, that appreciation was tempered as EPA continues to grant dozens of retroactive small refinery hardship exemptions.

“We welcome the Administration’s proposal to grow the biodiesel volumes, following two flatlined years,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. “This is a positive signal for our industry and we’re pleased the EPA has acknowledged our ability to produce higher volumes. We’ve consistently demonstrated that we can do much more.”

The EPA proposed the Renewable Volume Obligations for the biomass-based diesel category would increase from 2.1 billion gallons in 2019 to 2.43 billion gallons in 2020. The advanced biofuel category, for which biodiesel also qualifies, would also increase slightly from 4.29 billion gallons in 2018 to 4.88 billion gallons in 2019, under the EPA’s proposal.

While the proposed increase sends a very positive signal to the industry, EPA’s granting of dozens of retroactive small refinery hardship exemptions could still have a negative impact on future year standards.

Kovarik pointed to decisions by the EPA Administrator to provide numerous waivers to petroleum refiners that release them from their obligations under the RFS, effectively reducing the overall volumes under the program in 2016 and 2017. Those exemptions have effectively reduced current obligations for biodiesel by 100 million gallons in 2016 and 275 million gallons in 2017.

“As a candidate on the campaign trail, Donald Trump pledged he would support biofuels and protect the RFS,” Kovarik said. “While this is just a proposal, we hope the Administration is serious about growing biodiesel volumes and will fulfill the president’s promise to support and grow the RFS.”
 

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Midwest Voters Losing Faith in Administration’s Commitment to Renewables

New polling shows that voters across three Midwestern states are disappointed with Trump Administration decisions they view as broken promises of support for local agriculture and renewable fuels industries.

In a survey of voters in Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota, respondents overwhelmingly say they support federal policies to encourage growth in biodiesel and renewable fuels use. Their support cut across party lines, with more than two-thirds of Republicans and nearly three-quarters of Independents saying they support U.S. efforts to boost the expansion of the biodiesel industry. In total, 73 percent of voters agreed.

“When candidate Trump promised he would be their defender in Washington, DC, farming communities turned out to the polls in big numbers for him in November of 2016,” said National Biodiesel Board vice president of federal affairs Kurt Kovarik. “To be frank, rural voters haven’t seen that similar support reciprocated from EPA Administrator Pruitt and that’s reflected in the survey.”

In one such instance of his promises, then-candidate Trump addressed the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in January 2016: “The RFS… is an important tool in the mission to achieve energy independence for the United States. I will do all that is in my power as president to achieve that goal.”

More than 80 percent of Republican voters in the survey said it was important to them that President Trump keep his promise to defend the RFS. The newly released proposal to increase Renewable Fuel Standard volumes are a step in the right direction for the Administration, but concerns over small refinery waivers and other issues remain.
 

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NBB Expands Communications Roles

The National Biodiesel Board recently welcomed two key additions to its communications staff team, announcing new Director of Communications Kaleb Little and Director of Public Affairs and Federal Communications Paul Winters. Little has worked in various communications roles at the organization for more than eight years while Winters comes from fellow biofuels trade association Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

“Kaleb has been a key piece of the NBB communications team since his arrival in 2010 and we are extremely pleased to have him move into this formal leadership role on our staff team,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “He is a skilled communicator and his experience and expertise is a real asset to the biodiesel industry.”

Winters comes to NBB from BIO, where he was Director of Communications, Industrial & Environmental Section since 2003.

“Paul has been entrenched in the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Farm Bill, and other biofuels policy efforts for the last decade,” said Rehagen. “We are extremely excited to add someone with his subject matter experience into our Washington, DC office who can hit the ground running on some of our members’ highest priority areas.”

The National Biodiesel Board has a staff with more than 100 years combined experience in the industry. Little’s promotion and the addition of Winters helps add to the tremendous impact that the trade association makes toward the growth and development of America’s Advanced Biofuel.
 

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Biodiesel Industry Makes Its Voice Heard

Across the nation, biodiesel representatives are making their voices heard about some of the industry’s top priorities. The Renewable Fuel Standard, the biodiesel tax credit, and waivers issued by the Environmental Protection Agency are all subjects of such importance that have prompted the industry to reach out to leaders in Washington D.C in various ways.

Renewable Energy Group CEO Randy Howard, on behalf of NBB, recently delivered testimony before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment emphasizing that stable, predictable growth for biodiesel are key to the future success of the RFS.

“Biodiesel truly is a success story of the RFS, helping to realize the energy security and environmental benefits that the RFS was intended to achieve,” Howard stated. “Biodiesel has consistently delivered more than the RFS currently requires – and we can do much more.”

Biodiesel producers, advocates and agriculture leaders  joined the effort with an open letter to President Trump, imploring that biodiesel not be ignored in the Trump Administration’s efforts to navigate differences between petroleum refiners and the ethanol industry.

The biodiesel tax credit also received a show of unified support when a diverse group of trade associations delivered a letter to Congressional leaders calling for  extension of the recently expired biodiesel tax credit. More than 100 members of the National Biodiesel Board also attended the association’s annual membership meeting and fly-in, visiting Capitol Hill, engaging their members of Congress on key issues.

Additionally, a coalition of biofuel and agriculture groups petitioned the EPA to change its regulations to account for lost volumes of renewable fuel resulting from the unprecedented number of retroactive small refinery exemptions from RFS obligations recently granted by EPA. 

These broad outreach efforts have had a positive effect in the nation’s capital, and biodiesel supporters will continue to push for federal policies to continue biodiesel’s growth across the country.
 

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Vehicle Wrap Program Promotes Biodiesel Branding

The National Biodiesel Board is once again sponsoring a Vehicle Wrap Program designed to advertise biodiesel and help share fleets’ commitment to cleaner air. Biodiesel users are invited to apply for up to $10,000 to be used for vehicle wraps or decals showcasing America’s Advanced Biofuel.

“Biodiesel users are proud of the fuel they use, and they want to let others know about it,” said Kaleb Little, NBB’s director of communications. “NBB is offering this opportunity to not only help advertise the user’s company and brand, but to promote biodiesel to their local communities.”

Last year, four biodiesel companies received a new look for their vehicles thanks to NBB’s Vehicle Wrap Program. DF Richard Energy, G&D Integrated, Pennsylvania Grain Products, and Sprague Operating Resources all wrapped vehicles including trailers, fuel delivery trucks, and heavy haulers.

It is simple to qualify. Applicants must agree to match NBB’s investment to complete their project and be recommended by an NBB member. NBB will select applicants based on the opportunities their project presents for cross promotion and increasing biodiesel visibility. Program applications are available now until July 16.
 

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Exploring Biodiesel Seminars Educate Biodiesel Users Nationwide

Across the country regional seminars are providing education on the benefits and opportunities surrounding biodiesel. The National Biodiesel Board is partnering with biodiesel producers nationwide to host five Exploring Biodiesel (XBX) seminars.

“These seminars play an important role in promoting biodiesel knowledge throughout the biodiesel industry,” said Paul Nazarro, petroleum liaison for NBB. “Attendees can expect to gain an understanding of biodiesel’s place in today’s liquid fuels supply chain, and to learn how the fuel can be leveraged not only as a cleaner burning, renewable complement to diesel fuel, but as a means to increase market share and enhance an organization’s brand.”

The inaugural Exploring Biodiesel seminar in Boston drew roughly 100 attendees representing every level of the marketplace for a comprehensive four-hour crash course on all things biodiesel. The early results of an attendee survey were overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority of respondents reporting that the seminar exceeded their expectations and indicating that they would likely attend an annual XBX event to stay updated on biodiesel.

The next XBX events look to continue this momentum in Philadelphia (July 18), followed by events in Los Angeles (August 7), Portland, OR (August 9) and Cleveland (September 18). For more information, visit www.exploringbiodiesel.com.
 

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Biodiesel Powers Disney’s First Love


As one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world, Disneyland is known for the Disney Castle, the colorful cast of characters roaming the park, and of course the iconic trains running along the Disney Railroad. Many visitors may not know however, that biodiesel powers those famous locomotives.

Trains always played a part in Walt Disney’s life, so it was only natural for him to build a railroad at his first major park. When it debuted, the Santa Fe & Disneyland, later renamed the Disneyland Railroad, featured steam engines and cars built and assembled at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.

The railroad became a sensation, attracting 2.2 million passengers in 1958 alone. In 2007 the locomotives were converted to run on biodiesel and continue to be a mainstay of the park.

Every year, millions of people can ride these trains knowing that the air is cleaner thanks to the emissions reductions of biodiesel. In fact, studies from the American Lung Association show that America’s Advanced Biofuel even provides health benefits to those same passengers, reducing particulate matter that can cause wheezing, coughing, and can trigger asthma attacks.

Through cleaner air, better health for park guests, and a strong fuel for the trains, biodiesel is helping to keep Walt Disney’s legacy chugging along.
 

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