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Biodiesel Bulletin


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




May 1, 2015  

Industry Welcomes RFS Timeline Announcement From EPA

Let Your Voice Be Heard! Join the Biodiesel Thunderclap Campaign

Earth Day Continues to Effect Change After 45 Years

New England Clean Cities Coalitions Recognizes Green Fleets

Iowa Gov Take Spin Around Capital with Biodiesel

Lee Brice Partners with Environmental Non-Profit

Pennycress Workshop Advances Commerical Plans

Industry Welcomes RFS Timeline Announcement From EPA

On April 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has reached a consent decree in a lawsuit with petroleum groups that legally binds the agency to meet a deadline of June 1 for proposing 2014 and 2015 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes. Additionally, it outlined an encouraging new timeline for establishing biodiesel volumes through 2017.

Under the new timeline, the EPA is legally obligated to propose 2015 volumes by June 1 and to finalize 2014 and 2015 RFS volumes by November 30, 2015. The agency also stated that they hope to re-propose 2014 volumes, propose 2016 volumes for all RFS categories and to propose 2017 Biomass-Based Diesel volumes by June 1. All volumes are to be finalized by November 30, 2015.

While the real test of the Administration’s commitment to renewable fuels will be in the actual volume numbers that are proposed in the coming weeks. The EPA’s announcement is a positive development for the biodiesel industry, which appears to demonstrate the agency’s commitment to ending the delays and get the RFS back on track with the statutorily required deadlines for biodiesel.

As the EPA develops its proposal, all biodiesel supporters are encouraged to speak out on social media, in op-eds or letters to the editor, and with elected officials in Washington directly to advocate a strong and growing biodiesel sector under the RFS.

To view EPA’s announcement and the consent decree, which the agency agreed to voluntarily, visit EPA’s website here.

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Let Your Voice Be Heard! Join the Biodiesel Thunderclap Campaign

The National Biodiesel Board recently launched a unique online campaign to raise awareness for biodiesel and with a few quick clicks, you can be a part of it.

The campaign is through a platform called Thunderclap which will flood twitter and Facebook with an important biodiesel message, calling on the US EPA to support a vibrant domestic biodiesel industry by quickly releasing required volumes for annual growth under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

What is Thunderclap? It’s a new platform that allows people to pledge a Tweet or Facebook message that is concentrated and unleashed all at the same time. Think of it as a massive flash mob on Twitter. It’s completely safe and will automatically post exactly one message on your behalf.

Participation is simple. Click on this link and choose “Support with Facebook,” “Support with Twitter” or “Support with Tumblr” – or click each of them if you currently use them all. On May 20, everyone who has signed up will have the same biodiesel message automatically posted to their social media accounts. This will be the only message ever posted through the Thunderclap campaign. The message includes a link to NBB’s Fueling Action Center, where supporters can learn more about contacting the EPA to encourage growing biodiesel production through the RFS. That’s it!

The biodiesel message is: "Hey #EPA, #getbiodieselbackontrack. We need strong #RFS growth for America’s Advanced Biofuel in 2015 and beyond.http://thndr.it/1ODGT5c"

The biodiesel industry depends on its supporters to spread the message and educate others about its numerous benefits. NBB appreciates all who participate and encourage supporters to share the campaign with others.

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Earth Day Continues to Effect Change After 45 Years

Each year Earth Day serves as a day for social and political grassroots efforts to raise awareness about our environment worldwide. April 22nd marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

According to the Earth Day Network, the idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.

The first Earth Day was so successful it led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day 2015 saw biodiesel play a major role in events from coast to coast. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency announced the purchase of 61 new biodiesel-electric hybrid buses that will run on B20 biodiesel blends. Students in Lexington, South Carolina at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies’ clean energy program showcased a new biodiesel reactor they will use to recycle local oil. And the National Biodiesel Board and United Soybean Board partnered with Kennedy Space Center in Florida to showcase biodiesel and other biobased products to thousands of staff and park visitors in their annual Earth Day celebration.

The efforts of organizations and individuals around the world continue to effect change, just as the first Earth Day did more than forty years ago.

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New England Clean Cities Coalitions Recognizes Green Fleets

 

Two New England fleets were recognized recently for their positive impact on the alternative fuel industry. Malloy Energy and Newport Biodiesel were both recognized by their local Clean Cities Coalition with the Northern Stars of New England award. The award recognizes vehicle fleets from around the region for their commitment to the goals of the Clean Cities program. “Malloy Energy and Newport Biodiesel show what an amazing impact small business can have in our state. Both companies stand out as regional leaders in the alternative fuel industry,” said Wendy Lucht, Ocean State Clean Cities coordinator.

A deep commitment to cutting carbon emissions and petroleum use through use of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicle purchasing, and petroleum reduction practices is the leading factor to recognition as a Northern Star.

Malloy Energy and Newport Biodiesel were selected because 100 percent of their fleets use biodiesel. Malloy’s vehicles used nearly 7,800 gallons of biodiesel instead of diesel in 2014, and Newport Biodiesel vehicles used approximately 7,500 gallons of biodiesel.

The designation as a Northern Star requires fleets be stakeholders in their local Clean Cities Coalitions and they meet a list of criteria detailing their commitment to Clean Cities initiatives. The Northern Stars of New England program was funded through a U.S. Department of Energy grant that identified barriers to the proliferation of alternative fuels and how to remove them. Five northern New England Clean Cities Coalitions developed the program. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant awarded to Maine Clean Communities, a program of the Greater Portland Council of Governments, and other northern New England Clean Cities Coalition grant partners.

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Iowa Gov Takes Spin Around Capitol with Biodiesel

In April, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds were among those who drove the latest clean diesel vehicle offerings, fueled by biodiesel blends, around the Capitol in Des Moines. The appearance was part of the Iowa Biodiesel Board’s annual “Biodiesel Day on the Hill” event, where the state trade group held its first ever Ride-and-Drive.

Vehicles on hand included a diesel Chevy Cruze, the only small domestic diesel car; a Ford F-250 Superduty pickup; a Ram 3.0L EcoDiesel pickup; and a diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee. All 2015 models are approved for 20 percent biodiesel (B20), and ran on biodiesel blends during the event.

“As a nation, we should continue to prioritize both a diverse fuel supply and clean, fuel efficient vehicles,” said Grant Kimberley, IBB executive director. “With diesel vehicles running on biodiesel blends, you get both.”

According to the Diesel Technology Forum, conservative industry estimates put diesel's share of the passenger vehicle market at 6 to 10 percent by 2023, exceeding estimates for other alternative vehicle choices such as hybrids and electric vehicles.

Iowa biodiesel producers and supporters also spent the day thanking legislators for their support. Earlier this year, the state raised the fuel tax while providing a partial exemption for diesel blended with at least 11 percent biodiesel (B11).

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Lee Brice Partners with Environmental Non-Profit

The "evocative" (New York Times) male vocalist, Lee Brice kicks off a headlining tour in partnership with REVERB, a non-profit organization that unites artists and colleges to affect environmental and social change. An avid outdoorsman, Brice's Campus Consciousness initiative focuses on outdoor preservation and water conservation, subjects close to the South Carolina native's heart.

"We're hoping to offset the environmental impact of the tour by supporting clean energy projects and using buses and trucks fueled with locally produced biodiesel. I have two sons and I look at this as investing in their future and that of kids around the world," shares Brice.

Brice, who was recently awarded the ACM Single Record of the Year started his tour with sold-out shows in Hawaii and Australia. Lee will continue to play festivals, fairs and arenas through the spring and summer. Tour dates and tickets are available at leebrice.com.

Founded in 2004, REVERB is a non-profit organization that brings musicians to schools to affect environmental and social change. By employing student volunteers, and working alongside partner artists, REVERB positively impacts college communities, resulting in beach clean ups to trail preservation. Former REVERB partner artists include Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, fun, and Jack Johnson.

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Pennycress Workshop Advances Commercial Plans

In April, a workshop focusing on advancing commercial plans to bring pennycress into biodiesel’s diverse feedstock portfolio in the Midwest took place in Peoria, Ill. The first-of-its-kind workshop included commercial entities and research labs from across the supply chain that share an interest in the development of pennycress for the production of biofuels and other valuable byproducts.

“Commercialization challenges that exist for pennycress are not unlike those for any new crop,” said Alan Weber, a feedstock analyst for the National Biodiesel Board who attended the event. “Areas for additional work or research include seed dormancy issues, improving yields with early maturing varieties, co-product evaluation, ensuring eligibility for crop insurance, and the general learning curve for producers with a new crop.”

Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) is a winter annual plant, meaning it emerges in the fall and produces seed the following spring. The promise for pennycress stems from the fact that it fits into an existing Midwest corn-soy rotation without materially affecting either of those crops. The crop would act similarly to a cover crop in that it would scavenge nutrients, thus preventing them from being lost through the soil profile. Planting pennycress also decreases the opportunity for soil erosion, improves soil biology and provides an additional revenue stream for producers.

The Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative organized the workshop, hosted at USDA’s Agricultural Research Lab. Western Illinois University will hold a Pennycress Field Day on May 28.

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For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.

 

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