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B100 Biodiesel Technology Partnership Announced (Ind. Report)
Optimus Technologies,Archer Daniels Midland
Date: 2020-02-24
A wide range of organizations has announced a partnership to conduct a year-long validation project of revolutionary biodiesel technology to demonstrate its viability in real-world, high-mileage fleet applications.

Under this partnership, five trucks owned by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) will be outfitted with Pittsburgh-based Optimus Technologies' Vector fuel system, an innovative technology that enables diesel engines to run almost entirely on sustainable biodiesel. The trucks will be used in daily fleet operations for a yearlong period, with each vehicle anticipated to travel 160,000-180,000 miles and reduce up to 500,000 pounds of CO2. Advanced monitoring protocols will compare the performance and results of the new technology with five other trucks comprising a control group operating on conventional diesel. All biodiesel used in the project will come from ADM's refinery in Mexico, Missouri.

While nearly all diesel engine manufacturers support at least 20 pct biodiesel (B20), the Optimus Vector System is designed to allow conventional diesel engines to run on 100 pct biodiesel in a wide range of climates. The system is already in use in shorter-mileage, local fleet applications. This new project is designed to evaluate its use for longer-haul over-the-road fleets, potentially opening a pathway to significantly higher volumes of biodiesel in the U.S. truck fleet.

Optimus' technology coupled with ADM's fuel provides heavy-duty fleets an immediate pathway to reduce these emissions over 80%. While the promise of heavy-duty fleet electrification is still decades off, this project demonstrates the ease, low cost, and efficacy of integrating biodiesel into existing fleet equipment and operations.

In addition to ADM and Optimus, this project is supported by the American Lung Association, the National Biodiesel Board, the Illinois Soybean Association, and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. (Source: Optimus Technologies, PR, Website, 20 Feb., 2020) Contact: Optimus Technologies, Colin Huwyler, CEO, 412.727.8228, 888.727.2966 - fax, info@optimustec.com,www.optimustec.com; Archer Daniels Midland, www.adm.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Optimus Technologies,  Archer Daniels Midland,  


NBB Supports USDA Biodiesel Infrastructure Program (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2020-02-03
In response to the USDA's request for information on the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) noted: "Investments would be best served on opportunities that would afford the greatest additional volumes of biodiesel to enter the marketplace. The greatest barriers to biodiesel distribution are at the terminal and pipeline terminal level, as well as railways to reach distribution centers."

NBB VP of Federal Affairs, Kurt Kovarik noted NBB is "grateful to the USDA for following through on a pledge to support infrastructure projects that facilitate higher biofuel blends. "American consumers are increasingly demanding access to clean, low-carbon, advanced biofuels, like biodiesel. We look forward to working with the USDA to strengthen the market for higher blends of biodiesel," Kovarik added. (Spource, NBB, NAFB, 1 Feb., 2020) Contact: NBB, Kaleb Little, Dir. Communications, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  


NBB Survey Finds Strong Support for Biodiesel Industry (Ind. Report)
National Biodiesel Board
Date: 2020-01-03
Each year the NBB conducts online surveys of U.S. voters to track trends and gauge awareness of biodiesel. This year the poll gathered responses from 1,064 registered voters nationwide and showed consistent results with prior polling from 2017 and 2018. Among this years survey findings:
  • 54 pct of 2019 respondents had a positive impressions of biodiese, 44 pct had no impression and 3 pct negative;

  • 57 pct of respondents agreed that federal policy should encourage use of biodiesel and renewable diesel; Nearly 80 pct expressed support for existing federal programs that encourage increased production and use of advanced biofuels;

  • 78 pct of respondents support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, 79 pct support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), 79 pct of respondents would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel.

  • 83 pct of respondents agreed that the government should "stand with American workers, manufacturers, rural economies and businesses" to support a clean fuels industry and "follow the law to implement an existing mandate that creates jobs and economic development across the country." (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 31 Dec., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kaleb Little, Dir. Communications, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  Biodiesel,  


  • Biofuels Coalition Challenges EPA's "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
    Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council,Renewable Fuels Association
    Date: 2019-10-25
    Previously this week in Washington, a coalition of the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association filed a petition with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. EPA issue economic "hardship waivers" to over 30 small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligations for 2018.

    The coalition's brief noted, "Even as the Trump Administration indicates it is taking steps to account for future small refinery exemptions, the coalition remains concerned that EPA's abuse of the small refinery exemption program diverges from the spirit and letter of the Clean Air Act. From a substantive and procedural perspective, this is not the way for a federal agency to make such a momentous decision." (Source: Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and Renewable Fuels Association , 23 Oct., 2019) Contact: Growth Energy, Emily Skor, CEO, Elizabeth Funderburk, (202) 545-4000, EFunderburk@GrowthEnergy.org, www.growthenergy.org; U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, Pres., (202) 789-0789, (202) 898-0522, www.grains.org; Renewable Fuels Association, Geoff Cooper, (202) 289-3835, www.ethanolrfa.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News RFS,  Growth Energy,  U.S. Grains Council,  Renewable Fuels Association,  


    NBB Poll Finds Voter Support for RFS and Biodiesel (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-10-11
    According to a recently released National Biodiesel Board (NBB) poll of registered U.S. voters, 81 pct of respondents indicated that a candidate's position on renewable fuels is important, 86 pct said a candidate's position on clean energy is important or very important and 85 pct agreed that it is important that Pres. Trump keep his promises on the RFS.

    Nearly 80 pct expressed support for existing federal advanced biofuels programs, 78 pct support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, and 79 pct support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) while 79 pct would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel. (Source: NBB,Oct., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFS,  Biodiesel,  Ethanol,  Biofuel ,  


    Trump Asked to Honor RFS Pledge (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-11
    "DearMr.President,

    "We are writing to express dismay at your recent decision to grant 31 waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. Plainly stated, that decision is putting U.S.biodiesel producers out of business and worsening the year's outlook for soy farmers. And while you have expressed concern to save small petroleum refineries, you should also understand that small U.S. biodiesel producers need a positive signal.

    "Within a week of your decision on the 31 waivers, one U.S. biodiesel producer announced plans to close three plants -- in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Mississippi. Other producers have announced closings and laid off workers. More than 200 million gallons of domestic biodiesel production has been idled this year, due to instability in federal policy. We anticipate that additional facilities will close over the next several months if you do not take quick action to restore RFS volumes for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

    "Every small refinery waiver issued by the EPA has the potential to put a U.S.biodiesel producer out of business. A small oil refiner processing 75,000 barrels of oil per day can produce nearly 1 billion gallons of fuel in a year. The RFS program requires that oil refiner blend about 20 million gallons of biodiesel or renewable diesel during the year -- a very small fraction of overall fuel production. However, there are dozens of biodiesel producers who produce 20 million gallons of fuel or less each year; three-fifths of U.S. producers are small, non-integrated facilities.

    Small refinery waivers destroy demand for all biofuels across the board, with a significant impact on domestic biodiesel and renewable diesel producers. According to University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin, the exemptions especially harm biodiesel and renewable diesel producers because of the way the RFS is constructed. The 1.4 billion gallons of renewable fuel eliminated from the 2018 RFS through the 31 waivers includes hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in the biomass-based diesel, advanced and overall volumes.

    "The small refinery exemptions are compounding the policy headwinds our industry is facing. Biodiesel producers have waited more than 20 months for Congress to address expired tax incentives. Additionally, your U.S. Department of Commerce is proposing to virtually eliminate countervailing duties on unfairly subsidized Argentine biodiesel. Those duties were put in place to counteract years' worth of unfair trade practices by Argentina. Soy farmers have faced closed markets, depressed crop prices, and weather-related challenges. Those forces have reduced soy planting by 15 percent for the current marketing year. Biodiesel is a value-added market driver for America's soybeans, at a time when markets have been shut or diminished.

    "The biodiesel industry continues to rely on the RFS to incentivize growth. Biodiesel and renewable diesel can be used in any existing diesel engine without special equipment for blending or dispensing. Producers therefore rely on a positive signal and support from federal programs to continue opening the transportation market to higher volumes.

    "Biodiesel producers and soy farmers rely on the RFS program. Growth in the biodiesel market is the only way to keep domestic producers operating and protect U.S. workers' jobs. Unfortunately, EPA is proposing zero growth for biomass-based diesel. We have asked the agency to do two things: first, properly account for the small refinery exemptions handed out over the past few years and going forward; and second, provide growth in the biomass-based diesel market for 2020 and 2021.

    "We ask that you continue to support the RFS and save small biodiesel producers. (signed) National Biodiesel Board (NBB)" (Source: NBB, 9 Sept., 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  


    NBB's EPA RFS "Hardship" Waivers Challenge Nixed (Reg & Leg)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-09-09
    In the nation's capitol, the US Court of Appeals has announced it will not review the Trump administration US EPA's refusal to account for its granting of numerous retroactive Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) "hardship" waivers, as challenged by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

    The Court nixed the NBB's appeal on the grounds that the biofuel industry did not comment on the topic or give the EPA sufficient opportunity to address those comments. (Source: NBB, Biofuels News, 9 Sept., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  RFS,  "hardship" Waivers,  


    NBB Condemns EPA's Latest RFS "Hardship Waivers" (Ind Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-08-12
    "Less than two months after vowing to always protect and defend American farmers, President Trump is bowing to oil industry pressure and allowing his EPA to dismantle the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, force U.S. biodiesel producers out of business, and undermine the farm economy. EPA and administration personnel are well aware that the ongoing spree of big oil exemptions destroy demand for biodiesel and render the RFS program meaningless.

    "Biodiesel producers are already shutting down facilities and laying off workers, due to loss of demand. The ongoing demand destruction will undercut the industry's investments and choke off markets for surplus agricultural oils, adding to the economic hardship that farmers are facing. The Trump administration's action represents a fundamental betrayal of previous promises to farmers and the agricultural economy." (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 10 Aug., 2019) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  EPA,  RFS,  


    Calif. Updates B20 Underground Storage Regulations (Reg. & Leg.)
    National Biodiesel Board,California Advanced Biofuels Alliance.
    Date: 2019-08-09
    In Sacramento, the California State Water Board reports it has approved the storage of biodiesel blends of up to 20 pct (B20) in underground storage tanks, removing the final barrier to ensuring the state has access to sufficient volumes of the biofuel. A 10-year campaign to prove that B20 is compatible underground was supported by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), several member companies and the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance.

    Biodiesel is key to the state meeting its Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The California Air Resources Board claims that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gases by at least 50 pct, and up to as much as 81 pct , compared to petroleum. The California State Water Resources Board ruled that a 20 pct blend of biodiesel (meeting the ASTM standard for B20, D7467) "shall be recognized as equivalent to diesel for the purpose of complying with existing approval requirements for double-walled USTs, unless any material or component of the UST system has been determined to not be compatible with B20." The regulation comes into force from 1 October 2019. (Source: California State Water Board, California Advanced Biofuels Alliance, Biofuels Int'l, 7 Aug., 2019) Contact: California State Water Board, www.waterboards.ca.gov; NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org; California Advanced Biofuels Alliance, www.caadvancedbiofuelsalliance.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  National Biodiesel Board,  NBB,  California Advanced Biofuels Alliance.,  


    Ag.Groups Call for Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension (Reg & Leg.)
    NBB,National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-05-24
    Thirteen trade groups representing farmers, rural lenders, crop and biobased oil producers, and biodiesel producers today wrote leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, asking them to act on bipartisan legislation to extend the biodiesel tax incentive:

    "America's farmers and rural communities are facing a mounting economic threat. With your leadership, Congress can help mitigate the crisis by taking immediate action on a policy that enjoys bipartisan, bicameral support. We are writing today to ask you to renew and extend the biodiesel tax incentive at the earliest opportunity.

    "Income for America's farmers is falling, and the impact is beginning to be felt in other sectors of the rural economy. Biodiesel production adds value to oil seed crops and recycled oils, providing one bright spot for the agriculture sector. Congress can take rapid action to renew the biodiesel tax incentive -- a policy that enjoys broad bipartisan support -- to help U.S. biodiesel producers continue growing."

    The letters group include the Agricultural Retailers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, CoBank, Corn Refiners Association, Farm Credit Council, National Biodiesel Board, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Renderers Association, National Sorghum Producers, and U.S. Canola Association.

    A copy of the letter is available for download HERE. (Source: National Biodiesel Board , KTIC, 22 May, 2019) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  National Biodiesel Board,  NBB,  


    NBB Comments on the EPA's E15, RIN Reform Proposals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-05-03
    The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) filed the following formal comments on the U.S. EPA's proposed Modifications to Fuel Regulations to Provide Flexibility for E15 -- Modifications to RFS RIN Market Regulations rules. NBB respectfully disagreed with EPA's proposal to modify RIN market regulations without first showing data-based evidence of problems within the RIN market.

    "The proposed RIN market reforms are unnecessary, as EPA has yet to see data-based evidence of RIN market manipulation. Reforming a system that, while certainly not perfect, is working as intended with no evidence of manipulation has the potential to disrupt and even undermine the system that obligated parties use to demonstrate compliance with the RFS. We ask that the agency use this proposed rule as an opportunity to provide transparency to the small refinery exemption process and address the timing of granting these exemptions. Increasing transparency in the small refinery exemption process is what is actually needed to prevent manipulation in the RIN market.

    "Right now, retroactive small refinery exemptions are having the most negative impact on RIN markets, destroying demand for more than 360 million gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel. Rather than unneeded reforms that could further disrupt the RIN market, EPA should increase transparency around the small refinery exemptions, end its practice of encouraging retroactive petitions, and ensure that annual volumes that it set are met,"Kurt Kovarik, VP federal affairs, added. (Source: NBB, 30 April, 2019) Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  E15,  RINs ,  


    NBB Sets Biodiesel Tax Credit, Trade and RFS Priorities (INd. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2019-01-30
    With the conclusion of its recent conference in San Diego, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is calling for a permanent biodiesel tax credit, a resolution to a South American trade dispute and support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

    According to NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen, the U.S. came out on top regarding an anti-dumping charge against Argentina and Venezuela and are now challenging their appeal of that decision. Rehagen says their goal this year on the domestic front is convincing Congress to enact a long term biodiesel tax credit. Rehagen says they also want to work with the EPA to make improvements in the RFS that would benefit biodiesel producers and farmers. (Source: NBB, WNAX,28 Jan., 2019) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board ,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


    NBB Seeks Long-Term Tax Credit Extension (Ind. Report)
    NBB,Biodiesel
    Date: 2018-12-12
    The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and its affiliated organizations delivered the attached letter to House and Senate leaders, urging them to enact a multiyear extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive before Congress adjourns for the year.

    Congress retroactively extended the tax incentive for 2017 in February 2018, leaving it expired for this year and beyond. The letter welcomes a recent proposal for a seven-year extension of the tax incentive.

    Download the NBB letter HERE. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 11 Dec., 2018) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  RFS,  National Biodiesel Board,  


    Industry Comments on New RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Iowa Renewable Fuels Association , National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-12-05
    "Without reallocation of small-refinery exemptions, the numbers released today may look good on the outside, but just like the chocolate bunnies my children open up on Easter morning, they are hollow on the inside. While any increase is better than a flatline, these modest increases vastly underrate the potential of advanced biofuels." -- Monte Shaw, Exec. Dir., Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, (515) 252-6249, info@irfa.org, http://iowarfa.org

    "EPA's failure to properly account for small refinery exemptions will continue to destroy biodiesel demand. 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." -- National Biodiesel Board, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    "Of the 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel called for in the RFS, the vast majority, 388 million gallons, are requested from biogas and that represents a 45 pct increase in production from the 2018 volumes." -- American Biogas Council, Patrick Serfass, Executive Director, (202) 640-6595, www.americanbiogascouncil.org

    "When the EPA continues to grant waivers and does not account for those volumes in this rule, domestic demand for our crop is lost, impacting farmers' livelihood and the economy of rural America." -- National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Lynn Chrisp, (202) 326-0644, www.ncga.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News American Biogas Council,  NCGA,  ,  RFS,  Iowa Renewable Fuels Association,  National Biodiesel Board ,  


    NBB Supports Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Proposal (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-11-28
    In Washington, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, is reported to have proposed a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax 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 National Biodiesel Board (NBB) welcomes Brady's proposal: "The biodiesel industry has long advocated for a long-term tax extension to provide certainty and predictably for producers and feedstock providers. 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 (MBB) 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," according to NBB VP for Federal Affairs, Kurt Kovarik. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, Ohio AG, 28 Nov., 2018) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Tax Credit ,  


    NBB Calls for Stronger, More Accountable RFS (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-10-26
    "In June, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) expressed appreciation that the U.S. EPA proposed increases in the 2020 biomass-based diesel and 2019 advanced biofuel categories under the RFS. While the proposed increases sent a positive signal to the industry, EPA's granting of dozens of retroactive small refinery (hardship) exemptions undercut prior year volumes and could still have a negative impact on future year standards.

    "We welcome the administration's proposal to grow the biodiesel volumes, following two flat-lined years. 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 fact remains, though, instability in the RFS program caused by the EPA has done significant damage that can only be rectified for biodiesel through consistent and predictable growth in volumes, according to Kurt Kovarik, NBB VP Federal Affairs.

    "Kovarik pointed to decisions by the EPA administrator to provide numerous (hardship) 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 destroyed current demand for biodiesel by 300 million gallons.

    "As a candidate on the campaign trail, Donald Trump pledged he would support biofuels and protect the RFS, Kovarik added. 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.

    The EPA proposed to raise the renewable volume obligations (RVO) for the biomass-based diesel category from 2.1 billion gallons in 2019 to 2.43 billion gallons in 2020. The agency also proposed to slightly increase the advanced biofuel category, for which biodiesel also qualifies, from 4.29 billion gallons in 2018 to 4.88 billion gallons in 2019.

    "The RFS requires the EPA to grow the volume of advanced biofuels like biodiesel delivered to U.S. consumers. Since taking office, Trump's EPA has recommended zero growth for the biomass-based diesel category.

    "This summer, 39 U.S. senators sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging him to increase biomass-based diesel and advanced volumes and accurately account for small refinery hardship exemptions in the annual RFS volumes. NBB specifically thanked Sens. Patty Murray, D-Washington; Roy Blunt, R-Missouri; Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota; and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for leading the letter.

    "Noting that EPA proposes to set the 2020 biomass-based diesel volume at 2.43 billion gallons, the senators wrote, 'While these proposed increases are encouraging, these volumes continue to underestimate the existing potential of the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries in our states. We believe the biodiesel industry can do more and that EPA should demonstrate more confidence in the RFS program's ability to drive growth.' Comments from the senators and NBB demonstrate that the increased biomass-based diesel volume is achievable with available feedstocks. Calling on EPA to accurately account for small refinery hardship exemptions, the senators added, 'It is critical that EPA appropriately account for any small refiner economic hardship exemptions that it reasonably expects to grant during the 2019 compliance year in the final rule, or EPA will not be able to fulfill its duty to ensure RVOs are met.'

    "We (NBB) join the senators in calling on EPA to raise biomass-based diesel volumes to an appropriate level that will drive additional growth. Biodiesel production has consistently exceeded the annual volume obligations set by EPA. The industry continues to operate below capacity, which limits job creation and economic growth. Moreover, EPA must fully and accurately account for small refiner hardship exemptions under the RFS. NBB estimates that the exemptions granted by EPA for 2016 and 2017 reduced demand for biodiesel and renewable diesel by about 300 million gallons. That lost demand is equal to or greater than the annual production of some of the nation's top biodiesel-producing states, including Washington, Missouri, North Dakota and Iowa. The volumes that EPA sets are meaningless if the agency does not ensure they are met at the end of the year.

    "NBB and its members continue working to move the needle for higher volumes, meeting with the administration, working with biodiesel champions on the Hill, and collaborating with key industry stakeholders. The EPA is set to finalize volumes before Nov. 30." (Source: NBB, 24 Oct., 2018) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel Standard,  National Biodiesel Board,  


    National Biodiesel Board Challenging 2018 RFS (Reg & Leg)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-08-01
    The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) reports it filed an opening brief July 27 in its lawsuit objecting to U.S. EPA's methodology for establishing the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS). Specifically, the NBB claims: the EPA must account for all small refinery exemptions in the annual percentage standard; the EPA acted arbitrarily when it set the 2018 advanced biofuel volume below what it found to be “reasonably attainable"; and the agency set the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume based on impermissible considerations.

    The NBB brief is the first the courts will consider in arguing that EPA must account for all small refinery "hardship" exemptions -- including retroactively granted exemptions -- when it sets the annual RFS volumes and renewable volume obligations (RVOs).

    The NBB brief claims the "EPA unlawfully failed to account for all small-refinery exemptions it awards, violating its duty to promulgate percentage standards that 'ensure' all aggregate volumes are met. Unaccounted for small-refinery exemptions reduce aggregate volumes, and EPA's approach creates a new, de facto waiver authority contrary to Congress's design. Despite knowing those consequences, EPA declines to adjust percentage standards to account for that shortfall, either before it is likely to happen or after it actually does."

    The EPA has disclosed that it recently retroactively granted 48 small refinery hardship exemptions, reducing the 2016 and 2017 RVOs by a combined 2.25 billion RINs. In the brief, NBB notes that the exemptions reduced the 2016 RVOs by 4.3 pct and the 2017 RVOs by 7.5 pct.

    Separately, NBB estimates the 2016 and 2017 exemptions reduced demand for biodiesel by more than 300 million gallons, potentially putting hundreds of new jobs at risk.

    The NBB argues that EPA violated its duty to ensure that the annual volumes it sets are met and that the use of its cellulosic waiver authority to reduce the 2018 advanced biofuel RVO below the volume the agency determined would be reasonably attainable. The "EPA's view that it has unlimited discretion to do whatever it wants to the advanced-biofuel volume via the cellulosic waiver provision is not supported by this Court's precedents and would, if correct, render the provision unconstitutionally broad," the NBB brief states. the NBB brief also argues that EPA set the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume based on factors that are not mentioned in the RFS statute, while disregarding factors that are in the statute. "EPA set the 2019 BBD volume nearly identically to how it set the 2018 volume, which NBB is challenging in a separate proceeding. But the result here is even worse for the industry," NBB says in the brief. (Source: National Biodiesel Board , PR, 30 July, 2018) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board ,  RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  


    Biodiesel Producers Support Biodiesel Tax Credit (Ind. Report)
    NBB
    Date: 2018-06-27
    In a recent National Biodiesel Board (NBB) letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and Senate Committee on Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the NBB wrote:

    "On behalf of a diverse community of biodiesel producers, feedstock providers, blenders, fuel marketers and consumers, we are pleased to announce that we have united around a single position -- to maintain and extend the biodiesel tax credit at the blender level.

    "The blenders credit has worked successfully to build a robust biodiesel and renewable diesel industry -- 100 million gallons in 2005 to nearly 2.6 billion gallons in 2017. The tax credit is an important demand stimulus, which improves plant efficiencies, encourages investment in U.S. distribution infrastructure and supports high-paying jobs throughout the country, while providing fuels that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On top of this, it has afforded customers such as the trucking industry and heating oil users fuels that are more economic and environmentally competitive.

    "Extending the biodiesel blenders credit will allow us to continue to provide the economic and environmental benefits associated with the program.

    "Unfortunately, the uncertainty caused by the "on-again, off-again" tempo of legislative extensions, including the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 which retroactively extended the biodiesel tax incentives through the end of 2017, has somewhat frustrated our sector's ability to anticipate the availability of the incentives and make the necessary investments. This severely disrupts access to capital, as well as the ability to hire and expand. Given that Congress has frequently extended the credit retroactively, market participants have come to reasonably rely on the credit being retroactively extended when undertaking business and investment decisions. Accordingly, the undersigned trade associations and companies urge Congress to restore the tax credit as soon as possible.

    "To provide certainty in planning, we believe Congress should extend the full $1.00 per gallon tax credit for 2018 and 2019. Beyond that, we are seeking long-term certainty, including a permanent tax incentive at a level that will continue to foster growth in the domestic biodiesel market.

    "Since the credit's inception, the market responded as Congress intended. We urge Congress to extend this successful program."

    In addition to NBB, the letter was signed by the Advanced Biofuels Association, the American Trucking Associations, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Renderers Association, NATSO, Representing America's Travel Centers and Truckstops, New England Fuels Institute, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, and Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 25 June, , 2018) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, 800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News NBB,  Biodiesel,  Bioodiesel Tax Credit,  


    NBB Qustions PES RFS Settlement (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-03-28
    The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) called on the Department of Justice to reconsider its proposed settlement allowing Philadelphi Energy Solutions (PES) to escape the vast majority of its 2016-17 obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). According to NBB, the proposed settlement would harm the renewable fuels industry and undermine the intent of the RFS program by excusing more than 70 pct of the company's compliance obligations for the two-year period.

    "While PES continues to blame the RFS for its woes, the fact is, the bankruptcy is a mess of its own making," said Kurt Kovarik, NBB's VP of Federal Affairs. "Poor management and a failure to respond to changes in the crude oil market is to blame. PES should not be rewarded for deliberately failing to comply with the decade-old Renewable Fuel Standard. Doing so is akin to rewarding a toddler in the midst of a temper tantrum. Instead, the government should hold PES to the same renewable volume obligation as all other refiners. Not doing so could severely hinder the RFS's goals of enhancing energy security, protecting the environment and building our nation’s rural economy."

    NBB highlighted two key components in comments to the DOJ submitted March 26. First, the RFS holds parent companies liable for the compliance obligations of their subsidiaries. Thus, PES's corporate parents Carlyle and Sunoco can be required to comply with the RFS obligations incurred by PES. EPA has not explained why it is abandoning that avenue for ensuring complete fulfillment of PES's obligations. Second, the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the RFS cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The RFS creates an affirmative duty for obligated parties to blend or use biofuels or to buy credits from others who have done so. Such a duty persists through the bankruptcy because it cannot be resolved by a payment to the government. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 27 Mar., 2018) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, Kurt Kovarik, VP of Federal Affairs, 800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org; Philadelphia Energy Solutions, www.pes-companies.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  PES,  Point of Obligation,  RFS,  Biofuel Blend,  NBB,  RFS,  


    Ethanol RINs Cap Would Cut Biodiesel Market, says NBB (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-03-19
    According to a new analysis by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES), capping the price of conventional biofuels' Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) would lead to: a reduction of up to 300 million gpy in biomass-based diesel volumes -- in part, because these volumes would no longer be utilized for compliance with the conventional biofuels requirements; $185 million more in feed costs for livestock producers, likely leading to an increase in food costs for consumers; and $.16 less per bushel for soybeans.

    Biomass-based diesel and cellulosic biofuels (advanced biofuels) can qualify for RINs for their advanced biofuel category, as well as conventional biofuels (which has a lower threshold of greenhouse gas emissions reductions). The interconnected nature of the program and how RINs can qualify for multiple categories is one reason that capping one type of RINs impacts other fuels. (Source: Kentucky Soybean Board , Dennis Clark, Marshall County Daily, 15 Mar., 2018) Contact: Kentucky Soybean Board, www.kysoy.org; National Biodiesel Board, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RINs,  Ethanol,  


    NBB Calling for Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2018-03-16
    Further to our December 22nd, 2017 coverage, in a letter to legislators, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and more than 50 of its member organizations is calling on Congress to extend the biodiesel tax credit.

    "The uncertainty created by the lapse of the tax credit is curtailing investments in new plants and capital projects to maintain, improve and expand existing plants. We believe that if the tax credit is extended through at least 2018, the biodiesel industry would experience substantial growth in the near term, which would create significant new employment opportunities.

    "The noise of uncertainty is detrimental to the future of the industry. We've seen biodiesel and renewable diesel production grow from 25 million gallons before the tax credit to nearly 3 billion gallons. Imagine how much farther we could be as an industry if this federal policy mechanism hadn't lapsed so many times," the letter said. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 13 Mar., 2018) Contact: NBB, Kurt Kovarik, VP Federal Affairs, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Tax Credit,  


    NBB, Others Calls for Biodiesel Tax Credit Reinstatement (Ind. Report)
    NBB
    Date: 2017-12-22
    In Washington, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the Advanced Biofuels Association, the National Association of Truckstop Operators, the American Trucking Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America have sent a letter sent to Congressional leaders calling for a retroactive, multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive before the end of the year.

    "The signatories of this letter represent companies from all segments of the biomass-based diesel value chain, including production, blending, distribution, marketing and consumption of biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable aviation fuels. We share the view that extending the biodiesel tax incentive is consistent with sound tax, energy and economic policy. A seamless, multi-year extension of this worthwhile tax incentive will help create jobs, reduce fuels costs, diversify the nation's energy supply and bolster domestic energy production.

    "The biodiesel industry is interested in consistency and durability as it relates to the biodiesel tax credit, which we hope to see reinstated this year. This letter shows how important that credit is to a broad range of industries. Tens of thousands of U.S. jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, trucking and other industries are at risk. The clock is ticking, and we hope that Congress acts quickly to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit." (Source: National Biodiesel Board, PR, 19 Dec., 2017) Contact: National Biodiesel Board, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  Biodiesel Tax Credit,  NBB,  


    Biodiesel Board Responds to EPA's Proposed RFS Cuts (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2017-10-18
    "The EPA's proposal earlier this summer was inadequate, underestimating the power of domestic biodiesel production and ignoring the intent of the law. This additional request for comment is even more disappointing. It is critical that our members, champions in Congress and stakeholders again demonstrate to EPA the industry's proven success record and capacity for continued growth. There will be serious impacts to the tens of thousands of American biodiesel workers who were promised that this administration had their back.

    "What's most frustrating is it appears that EPA has not bothered to look at the facts we've put before them in our formal comments on the original proposal for the RFS -- facts that support higher volumes of biodiesel and other advanced biofuels. This is not the first year the biodiesel industry has been without the tax credit, or the first year there's been uncertainty in the biodiesel industry. But every year we have prevailed, providing volumes above and beyond the requirements," NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen said. (Source: National Biodiesel Board , October 16, 2017)Contact: NBB, Donnell Rehagen, CEO, (800) 841-5849, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Biodiesel Board,  RFSBiodiesel,  


    Smoky Mountains Emissions Down with Biodiesel Use (Ind. Report)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2017-09-11
    According to the National Biodiesel Board, in 2016 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park covering parts of Tennessee and North Carolina used 43,085 gallons of biodiesel (B20) that reportedly cut carbon dioxide emissions by 15 pct and carbon monoxide emissions by 12 pct while hydrocarbon and sulfur dioxide and particulate matter fell 12 pct. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park began using biodiesel blends to power park-owned diesel vehicles and equipment in 2003. (Source: National Biodiesel Board, 7 Sept., 2017) Contact: NBB, Kaleb Little, (800) 841-5849, klittle@biodiesel.org, www.biodiesel.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel Blend,  B20,  Biodiesel,  National Biodiesel Board,  Biodiesel,  


    NFU Hires Lobbyist to Push Biofuels Expansion (Ind. Report)
    National Farmers Union
    Date: 2017-08-25
    In Washington, the National Farmers Union (NFU) reports it has hired biofuels lobbyist Anne Steckel, former vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, to push for the expansion of higher ethanol blends and advanced biofuels on Capitol Hill.

    . According to a recent study by the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has boosted the value of the U.S. agriculture sector by $14.1 billion, or nearly $6,800 per American farm. Many biofuels advocacy groups have expressed support for the NFU initiative. (Source: NFU, DTN. 23 Aug., 2017) Contact: National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, Pres., (202) 554-1600, https://nfu.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Farmers Union,  Biofuels,  Anne Steckel ,  RFS,  


    CARB, NBB Touting VESTA™1000 Biodiesel Additive (Ind. Report)
    California ARB,NBB
    Date: 2017-08-02
    In Sacramento, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) reports it has certified VESTA™1000, a biodiesel additive that reduces measurable regulated emissions, including NOx, when blended with California's unique diesel formulation called "CARB diesel." The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) led the initial research and development into the additive.

    VESTA™1000 ensures compliance with the January 1, 2018 implementation of CARB's Alternative Diesel Fuel Regulation. A 20 pct (B20) blend of biodiesel with VESTA™ 1000 reportedly reduced NOx by 1.9 pct and particulate matter by 18 pct compared to CARB diesel fuel. California Fueling, LLC will produce the formula, and Pacific Fuel Resource, LLC will deliver the product to market. The two companies will work cooperatively with NBB members as well as those in the California fuel community to support the ongoing use of biodiesel diesel blends up to B20. (Source: NBB, Pacific Fuel Resource, July, 2017) Contact: Pacific Fuel Resource, Paul Nazzaro, (978)438-6090, paul@pacificfuelresource.com, www.pacificfuelresource.com; NBB, Kaleb Little, (800) 841-5849, klittle@biodiesel.org, www.biodiesel.org; CARB, (800) 242-4450, helpline@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California ARB,  NBB,  Biodiesel,  


    NBB Argues for Higher Advanced-Biofuel Volumes Before the D.C. Court of Appeals

    Date: 2017-04-28
    The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on April 24 regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014 – 2016. The NBB challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) interpretation and use of its waiver authority under the RFS statute.

    “Today’s case provides a strong opportunity to defend higher advanced-biofuel volumes. Clear market signals from more robust EPA requirements will encourage continued growth in America’s advanced biofuel—biodiesel,” said Anne Steckel, Vice President of Federal Affairs at NBB.

    Various groups are seeking to force changes to the fuel volumes required for compliance in the years 2014 – 2016 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2017. Several cases were consolidated into the one considered today. The NBB supported EPA on the cellulosic and biomass-based diesel volume arguments by pointing to D.C. Circuit Court precedent that affirms EPA’s authority and lack of harm to obligated parties. While joining various ethanol groups on arguments related to EPA’s general waiver authority, the NBB also raised numerous arguments related to EPA’s advanced-biofuel volumes.

    Historically, EPA has not deviated from the advanced-biofuel volumes required by the RFS statute, even if the agency lowered other kinds of fuels’ volumes (such as cellulosic). For the first time, EPA reduced the volumes required for advanced biofuel for 2014 – 2016. This set the advanced-biofuels industry back, because U.S. biodiesel responds to increased demand with increased production. The NBB argues that EPA exceeded its authority and failed to move the advanced-biofuel program forward as Congress envisioned.

    Congress sought to increase production and stimulate investment—not simply follow the market and maintain the status quo. Reducing the required volumes based on demand-side considerations undermines continued investment and the innovation that has successfully diversified feedstocks, increased efficiencies and lowered costs.

    The RFS—a bipartisan policy passed in 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush—requires increasing volumes of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel stream. The law is divided into two broad categories: conventional biofuels, which must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%, and advanced biofuels, which must have a 50% reduction. Biodiesel is the first advanced biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and has made up the vast majority of advanced biofuel production under the RFS to date.

    NBB also has a trade case pending before the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission on biodiesel imports. (Source: NBB, Fuel Marketer News, April, 2017)


    Argentine, Indonesian Biodiesel Dumping Charge Investigated (Int'l)
    National Biodiesel Board
    Date: 2017-04-24
    In the nation's capitol, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) reports it is formally initiating anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The action follows a petition that was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition, which is made up of the NBB and U.S. biodiesel producers.

    According to the NBB, Argentine and Indonesian companies are violating trade laws by flooding the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel, and are injuring American manufacturers and workers. Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464 pct from 2014 to 2016 and taken 18.3 pct of market share from U.S. manufacturers. According to the Commerce Department there is evidence that dumping margins could be as high as 26.54 pct for Argentina and 28.11 pct for Indonesia. (Source: NBB, April, 2017) Contact: NBB, (573) 635-7913, info@biodiesel.org, www.nbb.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel,  National Biodiesel Board ,  Biodiesel,  

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