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




March 1, 2019  

NBB Applauds Bipartisan Support for Extending the Biodiesel Tax Incentive

Biodiesel Wins Big in Chicago Fleet Awards

Senators Urge Commerce to Conduct Transparent Review of Argentina’s Biodiesel Subsidies

Student Scientists Earn Scholarships to National Biodiesel Conference

NBB Once Again Partners with Local Community During Conference

Clean Cruiser Project Takes Biodiesel Through Central America

National Biodiesel Board Grows Stronger with New Additions

 

 
NBB Applauds Bipartisan Support for Extending the Biodiesel Tax Incentive

The National Biodiesel Board recently thanked 44 members of the House of Representatives – led by Reps. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) – who asked Congressional leaders to adopt a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive as soon as possible. Congressmembers from across the country – from California to New York – sent the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).

The letter notes that the biodiesel tax incentive was retroactively renewed for 2017 in February of last year but left expired for 2018 and beyond.

“Biodiesel and renewable diesel producers testified before the House Ways & Means Committee last spring and worked with Congress all year to make a case for resolving the off-again, on-again nature of tax incentive eligibility. A multi-year extension of biodiesel and renewable diesel incentives will provide the industry the certainty it needs to continue to generate economic and environmental public benefits,” the letter states.

copy of the letter is available for download.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, “NBB and its members appreciate the leadership of Representatives Loebsack, LaHood and others from across the country who co-signed this letter. The letter demonstrates the strong, bipartisan support for a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive now, in order to provide biodiesel producers, blenders and retailers the opportunity to plan and expand the market for biodiesel. That expansion would deliver economic and environmental benefits to drivers, consumers, farmers and others all along the value chain.”

NBB is working diligently with biodiesel champions in congress to pass an extension for the biodiesel tax incentive. NBB’s Fueling Action Center provides an easy tool for biodiesel advocates to send emails and social media messages or connect by phone to congressional representatives. All biodiesel supporters are encouraged to ask colleagues and co-workers to join NBB’s Fueling Action Center campaign.
 

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Biodiesel Wins Big in Chicago Fleet Awards

The Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition (CACC) announced the winners of its Green Fleet Leadership Award last month, recognizing the efforts of companies and government agencies who have adopted the use of alternative fuels and clean-vehicle technologies for their fleets. The annual award honors fleets that locally reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality. This year, biodiesel was a chief fuel involved in powering the winning fleets.

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Award was given to Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd), the primary electric utility in the Chicago area. With approximately 10 million customers, ComEd reduced its GHG emissions by nearly 5,000 tons in 2017 through its use of biodiesel and electric vehicles to power its fleet. The company also received the Alternative Fuels Award from CACC for reducing nearly 370,000 gasoline-gallon equivalents (GGEs) of fuel through its use of biodiesel in a fleet of 1,750 trucks.

The Chicago Park District was also a recipient of the Alternative Fuels Award from CACC for its use of 10 to 20 percent blends of biodiesel in nearly 200 of its 550-plus vehicle fleet, and for its use of B50 in 56 of its vehicles. Through its sustainability efforts, CPD reduces an equivalent of 19,000 greenhouse gas emissions per year.

“The commercial and government fleets that we’re awarding are being recognized for being the best in their fuel category in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline gallon equivalents of fuel,” said Samantha Bingham, CACC coordinator. “Many also are being recognized for year over year improvements. Their efforts are better for the environment by reducing harmful emissions, which improves Chicago air quality, ensuring that the air we breathe is cleaner for all. The fleets we’re honoring all operate in the Chicagoland area and are terrific examples for others to follow to learn about the advantages of clean-vehicle and alternative-fuel technologies.”
 

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Senators Urge Commerce to Conduct Transparent Review of Argentina’s Biodiesel Subsidies

This week, a bipartisan group of 14 Senators – led by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) – wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross regarding his agency’s recently launched “changed circumstances” review of U.S. duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina. In the letter, the Senators ask Commerce to develop a complete record of Argentina’s biodiesel trade actions before determining whether revisiting the U.S. duties is warranted.

The letter notes that in early 2018 the U.S. Department of Commerce issued countervailing duty and antidumping orders on imports of certain biodiesel products from Argentina, following an extensive trade investigation. Then in December 2018, Commerce initiated “changed circumstances” reviews to assess Argentina’s most recent modification to its export tax regime and whether it warrants a review of the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders issued only months before.

“In the short period since the antidumping and countervailing duty orders were imposed, U.S. biodiesel producers have been able to compete on a more level playing field and the U.S. biodiesel industry has begun to recover from the injury caused by the unfair trade practices of the Argentine government and industry,” the group of senators said in the letter.

Domestic biodiesel production increased by 17 percent or more than 300 million gallons in 2018, compared to 2017.

The full list of senators who signed the letter, as well as a copy of the letter itself can be viewed online.
 

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Student Scientists Earn Scholarships to National Biodiesel Conference


A dozen university-level science majors interested in learning about all aspects of the biodiesel industry received travel scholarships to attend the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 21 - 24 in San Diego. Some of the students, who are members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel, also received invitations to present on their research.

Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel is a National Biodiesel Board program intended to foster professional relationships between budding and established scientists, share accurate information, and increase collaboration with academia and the biodiesel industry.

Student opportunities included a poster session and breakout session to present their research, a preconference biodiesel educational overview, and a private mentoring mixer with prominent biodiesel scientists from throughout the nation.

Many of the students, who came from a wide range of disciplines, noted the impact the event had on them. Kelly Martichuski, studying Bioproduct and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, said attending strengthened her beliefs behind biodiesel and other biofuels.

“I feel like I am able to share the ideas and numbers behind this industry more clearly and more confidently,” Martichuski said. “There is still a lot of research that can be carried out, so I am hoping that with all of the knowledge that I gained, I can come up with new research ideas and get results to bring awareness to the population about the great benefits of using biodiesel.”
 

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NBB Once Again Partners with Local Community During Conference

Students from Point Loma High School amazed biodiesel enthusiasts at the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo with a high-energy drumline performance. The National Biodiesel Board invited seven students from the Point Loma marching band to kick-off the conference and get attendees excited about the biodiesel sessions to come.

“Being able to connect with the local community through our conference is important to us because it helps us engage and continue the biodiesel conversation with those outside of our industry and network,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “It’s especially meaningful to connect with high school students, who might be hearing about biodiesel for the first time.”

After a drumline performance during last year’s 25th Anniversary Gala, NBB wanted to continue giving back to local, passionate students. Having the band kick off this year’s conference was an excellent way to get the kids involved and create a high-energy atmosphere for the event. As a special thank you to Point Loma High School, NBB made a donation to the school’s music department to help pay for instruments and other programs to help keep students involved.

“We were excited to carry on the tradition to involve high school students,” Rehagen added. “Not only are they talented performers who can bring a room to their feet, but they are also the future that could help our industry thrive.”
 

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Clean Cruiser Project Takes Biodiesel Through Central America

What started as a couple of pals looking for their next adventure soon turned into a career calling for Steven Ploog and Nathan Stuart. After the initial idea of fixing up two old Toyota Landcruisers and driving down to Panama, the two came up with an interesting challenge.

"We decided, let's try to do the entire trip carbon neutral," said Steven Ploog. "We thought we'd do it by using vegetable oil at first. But that was a huge pain, so we decided to use biodiesel."

With cruisers in hand, the partners started filming their progress working in the shop, which included installing brand new engines.

"We wanted to just document the restoration process of the vehicles, for ourselves mainly," Ploog explained. "But then we started realizing we could use it as a tool to reach more people and influence them to be a little bit more conscious of the environment and promote conservation efforts all around the world."

With that, the Clean Cruiser Project—now an official nonprofit organization—was born. The idea was to produce a web-based reality series which will focus on conservation efforts around the world, and, of course, the vehicles themselves. 

Once Ploog and Stuart got the ball rolling on the idea, they started receiving some much-needed sponsorship support. They connected with the National Biodiesel Board, Tread Lightly, C.F. Martin Guitar, and Cummins Engines, which donated the two engines for the Landcruisers.

"They're super efficient," Ploog said of the vehicles. "We're using 80 percent renewable diesel and 20 percent biodiesel. It brings our carbon footprint down 80 percent. We're basically as clean as a Prius."
 

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National Biodiesel Board Grows Stronger with New Additions

The biodiesel industry is growing stronger with more organizations joining the National Biodiesel Board’s membership. The final months of 2018 and the start of 2019 have brought the addition of six organizations looking to make an impact in the biodiesel marketplace. These new companies range from biodiesel producers, to distributors, to commodity traders, who join the extensive and diverse organizations that make up NBB.

“I’m very excited to welcome each of these groups to our membership,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “The continual growth and diversification of our organization reflects the direction that the industry is heading. I’m sure that our membership will benefit from these new partnerships, and we look forward to working closely together to continue promoting America’s Advanced Biofuel from coast to coast.”

NBB’s newest members include:

  • Novozymes North America – a global leader in biodiesel solutions, producing a wide range of industrial enzymes and microorganisms. 
  • New England Fuel Institute – a trade association focused on strengthening and advancing the liquid heating fuels market.
  • Rio Valley Biofuels, LLC – a biodiesel producer and distributor from the southwest who looks to provide affordable biodiesel to businesses and farmers in the southwestern states.
  • ENI Trading and Shipping – a commodity trader that strives for excellence in the trading of crude oils and refined products.
  • DEASYL SA – an international supplier of technologies and catalysts for the petroleum industry.
  • Genuine Bio-Fuel Inc. – a biodiesel producer from Florida who strives for greater efficiencies in production, creating higher yields at a lower cost.

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