Biodiesel Bulletin

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

December 3, 2018  

Final RFS Rule Provides Only Minimal Growth for Biodiesel

NBB Takes Action on Tax Credit

Can’t Miss Events at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo

Biodiesel Industry Opposes Unprecedented Review of Import Duties

Biodiesel Industry Elects New Board Leadership

Keeping the Holidays Green with Biodiesel

Biodiesel Success Stories – Celebrating our Biodiesel Leaders

Final RFS Rule Provides Only Minimal Growth for Biodiesel

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final Renewable Fuel Standards for 2019 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2020 last week. EPA made very few changes from its June proposal, setting the 2020 biomass-based diesel volume at 2.43 billion gallons, and the 2019 advanced biofuel renewable volume obligation (RVO) at 4.92 billion gallons. EPA used its cellulosic waiver authority to make the maximum possible reductions to the advanced biofuel and overall renewable fuel categories. The biomass-based diesel RVO for 2019 was set at 2.1 billion gallons in last year’s rule.

National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen stated, “EPA recognizes that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is producing fuel well above the annual volumes. The industry regularly fills 90 percent of the annual advanced biofuel requirement. Nevertheless, the agency continues to use its maximum waiver authority to set advanced biofuel requirements below attainable levels. The method is inconsistent with the RFS program’s purpose, which is to drive growth in production and use of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel.”

In the final rule, EPA states that it has not received small refinery exemption petitions for 2019 and therefore estimates zero gallons of exempted fuel in its RVO formula. The agency has estimated zero gallons every year since 2015, even though it retroactively exempted more than 24.5 billion gallons of fuel for those years. The agency’s own data shows that the retroactive small refinery exemptions reduced demand for biodiesel by more than 300 million gallons in 2018.

NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik added, “EPA’s RFS rule fails to address the uncertainty associated with the unprecedented flood of small refiner hardship exemptions. Moreover, the agency still has not addressed the Court order in the ACE case, which remanded the agency’s improper waiver of the 2016 volumes. The rule that EPA has finalized for 2019 and 2020 is meaningless without solutions to these issues.”



NBB Takes Action on Tax Credit Proposal

The National Biodiesel Board is urging Congress to renew the tax incentive before the end of this year and is asking biodiesel supporters for help. NBB’s Fueling Action Center provides an easy-to-use form that will automatically send emails to Congressmembers and Senators.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, recently released a proposal to make technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (PL 115-97) and to extend several expired tax credits, including the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive. NBB welcomed the proposal for a multi-year extension of this important incentive.

The biodiesel tax incentive is currently expired. This proposal would keep the credit at its current rate of $1.00 per gallon for 2018 through 2021, but gradually reduce it to $0.33 per gallon by 2024 and then allow it to expire.

“The biodiesel industry has long advocated for a long-term tax extension to provide certainty and predictably for producers and feedstock providers,” state Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs with NBB. “Too often, the credit has been allowed to lapse and then reinstated retroactively, which does not provide the certainty businesses need to plan, invest, and create jobs. We appreciate the recognition that the biodiesel industry is integral to our domestic energy needs through this long-term extension. We look forward to working with our supporters on Capitol Hill to ensure that consumers, producers and marketers benefit from a long-term, forward-looking pro-growth tax policy.” 

Spread the word to colleagues and co-workers: ask them to visit NBB’s Fueling Action Center and join the campaign.



Can’t Miss Events at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo

The 2019 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo is the premier destination for anyone interested in the biodiesel industry. This year the conference takes place January 21-24 in San Diego, CA and is packed with can’t miss sessions covering topics from every part of the industry.

The Conference Central design returns this year, allowing for some of the best parts of the conference to be featured in the same location. Just a few of the main stage spotlight sessions are:

On a Mission: Overcoming Challenges to Engage in the 21st Century

To kick off the conference, hear from NBB leadership about how federal policy will continue to be mission-critical in propelling biodiesel into the future. Top Washington political strategists will discuss navigating the 116th Congress, examining the November election outcome, the political balance, and how best to achieve the biodiesel industry’s policy priorities.

In it for the Long Haul - Vehicle Technology Showcase

The Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase will begin with an engaging panel discussion with industry experts and fleets on how biodiesel and diesel engines will continue to be a mainstay in transportation in the years ahead. Then, a panel of Original Equipment Manufacturers will reveal their latest diesel vehicle introductions and biodiesel announcements.

Truck Stop Coffee Talk- Petroleum Industry Leaders on Biodiesel

Biodiesel may be an alternative fuel, but it’s in the mainstream fuel supply, and the petroleum industry is our biggest customer. Top leaders from the petroleum and truck stop industries will discuss what drives them to blend biodiesel into the fuel supply – and how we can keep them at the table.

With so much to offer, there is no question that this is the biodiesel event of the year. Online registration is open, and much more information can be found on the conference website. Reserve a spot today by following the link and join us in January.


Biodiesel Industry Opposes Unprecedented Review of Import Duties

The biodiesel industry has expressed serious concern that the U.S. Department of Commerce has initiated “changed circumstances” reviews of U.S. trade duties on Argentine biodiesel companies. The National Biodiesel Board, the American Soybean Association, and the National Renderers Association wrote a letter urging President Trump to ensure that Commerce undertake a rigorous, comprehensive and transparent review before considering any adjustment to the duty rates it established just this year.

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed antidumping and countervailing duty orders in January and April 2018, following investigations in which the government found that biodiesel imports from Argentina were massively subsidized and dumped, injuring U.S. biodiesel producers.

“Given the importance of this new remedy for American energy and agriculture against unfair imports, it is a mystery that Commerce would open an expedited path for Argentina to reduce or remove the tariffs and resume their illegal imports,” the groups stated in the letter. “This political concession to the government of Argentina would once again distort U.S. markets and undercut crop prices that are only now regaining stability, following other trade disruptions.”

The groups opposed Commerce’s initiation of the changed circumstances review, arguing that Commerce has well-established administrative review procedures for revisiting antidumping and countervailing duty rates. Commerce’s initiation of these reviews just months after finding that Argentina engaged in unfair trade practices creates a great deal of uncertainty for the biodiesel industry and other stakeholders.

Now that Commerce has initiated the review, the groups are urging President Trump “to ensure that Commerce’s review of these orders is no less rigorous and transparent than the ‘administrative reviews’ that Commerce typically conducts in other cases. To do anything less would strike a devastating blow to U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers.”


Biodiesel Industry Elects New Board Leadership

NBB’s new and returning governing board members.
Not pictured: Paul Soanes and Robert Morton.

National Biodiesel Board members voted last month to elect their trade association leadership. The board reflects the wide range of member companies in the biodiesel industry from feedstock operations to producers. 

“The National Biodiesel Board is the sole organization representing American-made biodiesel’s entire value chain and renewable diesel interests. Our strong team of leaders from all sectors of the industry continue to move this American-made fuel forward," said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to secure strong markets for America’s Advanced Biofuel and the nearly 64,000 jobs we represent.”

NBB members voted to fill eight board member spots for two-year terms:

  • Troy Alberts, Ag Environmental Products
  • Rob Shaffer, American Soybean Association
  • Jeff Lynn, Illinois Soybean Association
  • Tim Keaveney, Lake Erie Biofuels DBA Hero BX
  • Mike Rath, Darling Ingredients Inc.
  • Greg Anderson, Nebraska Soybean Board
  • Robert Morton, Newport Biodiesel LLC
  • Tom Brooks, Western Dubuque Biodiesel, LLC

Kent Engelbrecht, Ron Heck, Ryan Pederson, Harry Simpson, Paul Soanes, Robert Stobaugh, and Chad Stone continue to serve on the board.  

The board also voted in the new slate of officers with Kent Engelbrecht returning as chairman, Chad Stone as Vice Chairman, Ryan Pederson as Treasurer and Ron Heck as Secretary.



Keeping the Holidays Green with Biodiesel

Every holiday season, people across the country cook up big dinners, often leaving behind a large amount of used cooking oil. Rather than letting that oil go to waste, filling landfills or clogging drains, biodiesel producers nationwide are recycling it to make clean burning biodiesel.

An average holiday turkey can generate about a cup of fat, and much more for those that deep fry their turkeys. This fat and used cooking oil is a common waste product without much benefit outside of being recycled. As a result, many people often pour it down their sinks, which can clog pipes and lead to damaging sewer build ups. Fortunately, biodiesel producers can take this low-value and potentially damaging product and turn it into fuel.

“Recycling always provides sustainability benefits but using used cooking oil for biodiesel enhances those benefits to include cleaner air and less harmful emissions than traditional diesel fuel,” said Don Scott, National Biodiesel Board’s director of sustainability. “While the majority of biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, the diversity of America’s advanced biofuel allows an even greater impact on sustainability through waste products like used fats and oils.”

 Many recycling centers began collecting used cooking oil around Thanksgiving and will continue to do so through the end of the year. Places like Louisville, KY; Lakewood, NJ; Dorchester County, SC; and others have all advertised their grease recycling efforts, but be sure to check with local recycling centers to find the closest available location.


Biodiesel Success Stories – Celebrating our Biodiesel Leaders

For 25 years the US biodiesel industry has grown from a university project to a more than 3-billion-gallon industry. The National Biodiesel Board’s latest publication captures some of the successes that the industry has had throughout the years.

In addition to the many faces adorning the front cover, there is an appropriate quote from philosopher Pearl Zhu that says, “Innovators are at their very heart visionaries who also have determination, dedication, passion and motivation.” This quote easily describes the varied professionals featured throughout the publication.

Biodiesel Success Stories showcase biodiesel supporters ranging from US Senators to technical scientists, feedstock executives to fleet managers, city council members to biodiesel producers, and more. These champions have been around since the beginning, and plan to support biodiesel for years to come. Their dedication to the industry has made America’s Advanced Biofuel what it is today.

NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen is one of these highlights, remarking on the history and his optimism for the future of the industry.

“It’s a very proud history that we enjoy,” says Rehagen. “We see an industry that is just waiting to burst with its ability to grow and produce more.”

The full Biodiesel Success Stories can be downloaded and shared today.



For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.



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