For Immediate Release
Contact: Kaleb Little/800-841-58
Jefferson City, Mo. – While the biodiesel industry faces the fight of its life in Washington, thousands of producers and enthusiasts will gather in San Diego to recognize 2013’s record production and job growth. The 2014 Biodiesel Conference & Expo Jan. 20-23 promises to provide the latest insights to help industry leaders build on this success while navigating the uncertain policy climate.
“California is a leader in environmental and low carbon policy, both places where biodiesel fits right in,” said Jennifer Case, CEO for San Diego biodiesel producer New Leaf Biofuel and NBB governing board member. “This conference and San Diego will be the perfect venues to get business underway and pave a course for the challenges of the year ahead.”
Biodiesel is the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the U.S. to meet the EPA’s definition as an Advanced Biofuel - cutting carbon emissions by as much as 86 percent. Produced nationwide, the industry has exceeded RFS requirements in every year of the program, producing more than 1 billion gallons annually since 2011. It is on pace to produce at least 1.7 billion gallons in 2013, supporting more than 62,000 jobs nationwide.
At the center of the challenge is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a sensible policy to increase diversity in transportation fuels. Recognizing America’s national security, economic and environmental interests it was originally established in 2005 by a bipartisan coalition in Congress. Yet in its draft rule for the RFS, the EPA has now proposed a biodiesel target of 1.28 billion gallons, down sharply from estimated 2013 production of 1.7 billion gallons and the industry’s annualized production rate of about 2 billion gallons since July.
“The biodiesel industry hit a grand slam in 2013, hitting an average annualized monthly production rate of 2 billion gallons for the last half of the year – double that of last year’s record,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of NBB. “Biodiesel and renewable diesel companies stepped up in a big way and filled nearly the entire target for advanced biofuels. But the EPA’s volume proposal for 2014 would effectively cut the volumes in half from current production levels. I can’t think of a more unacceptable example of a call for full retreat during such an overwhelming victory.”
While the future of the industry and the RFS will be a major focus, the 2014 Biodiesel Conference & Expo promises much more. As the official annual event of the National Biodiesel Board and the U.S. biodiesel industry participants will hear from dynamic speakers, participate in enlightening and informative sessions, and take advantage of numerous networking opportunities with biodiesel decision makers from throughout the United States and the world.
Olympic gold medalist Jim Craig, goalie for the 1980 USA “Miracle on Ice” Hockey Team, will give the keynote address on Tuesday, Jan. 22. His outstanding goaltending helped the U.S. team beat the heavily favored Russians and go on to win the Olympic gold medal in what’s been labeled the greatest sports moment of the 20th Century.
“Craig’s message that a come-from-behind win is never completely out of reach, is particularly appropriate given the challenges we face in the year ahead,” Jobe added.
Other highlights include an opportunity to talk with the directors of GasHole, a 2010 documentary “about the history of oil prices that sheds light on a secret that the big oil companies don’t want you to know—that there are viable and affordable alternatives to petroleum fuel.” A vehicle showcase and ride-and-drive will feature the latest diesel passenger vehicles. And the next generation of biodiesel leaders, student scientists from across the country, will share their exciting research during their own conference session.
Also the third annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference, Co-presented by the California Biodiesel Alliance and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), is slated for Monday.
The conference will again open its doors to anyone wanted to learn more about biodiesel. San Diego residents with a valid, local identification are invited to attend the General Session and Ride & Drive events Wednesday, January 22 between 10 and 2.
For more information and to register, visit biodieselconference.org