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Biodiesel Bulletin


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

NBB does not publish a February Issue due to the Biodiesel Conference.


November 3, 2014  

Final Advocacy Push for Biodiesel Incentive in Lame Duck

Students Invited to Learn Beyond the Classroom with Biodiesel Conference Scholarship

Minnesota Retail Fuel Testing Confirms High Biodiesel Quality

Lawmakers Concerned Biofuel Cuts Would Undermine Climate Targets

Biodiesel Teen Cassandra Lin Honored with Nickelodeon HALO Award

San Francisco Highlights Biodiesel Success Stories

North Carolina Lawyer Powered by Biodiesel

Iowa Hawkeyes Drive it Home with Biodiesel

Ford Hauls Bad Guys Away with Biodiesel and E85

 

Final Advocacy Push for Biodiesel Incentive in Lame Duck

NBB has been proactively advocating for the biodiesel tax credit since before it expired at the beginning of the year. With Congress bogged down in partisan gridlock, there have had few real legislative opportunities to win its reinstatement. That should change when Congress returns to Washington for a "lame duck" session shortly after the Nov. 4 elections. It will be incredibly important for all biodiesel supporters to join a united push at that time to win the credit back.

Congress is scheduled to return to work the week of Nov. 10 with plenty of unfinished business. Leaders in both the House and Senate have called for passing a "tax extenders" package to reinstate dozens of tax incentives that have expired or are soon to expire. In a bipartisan vote in April, the Senate Finance Committee passed a package to extend more than 40 tax incentives, including the biodiesel incentive. The bill would reinstate the $1 per gallon tax credit for two years – retroactively for 2014 and through the end of 2015.

This package will likely be used as a starting point if and when Congress takes up tax extenders in the lame duck session, but there will be significant opposition. After the election, NBB will be encouraging stakeholders to call their members of Congress and urge them to pass tax extenders legislation that includes biodiesel as quickly as possible.

For talking points and other information, please visit NBB's Fueling Action advocacy website or contact members of Congress through the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121. House representatives can be contacted through the switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Stay tuned for further updates.

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Students Invited to Learn Beyond the Classroom with Biodiesel Conference Scholarship

 

The November 24 deadline is fast approaching for students interested in applying to attend the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 19 – 22 in Fort Worth, Texas. Hosted by the National Biodiesel Board, students are invited to apply for a travel scholarship as well as to present their research. This opportunity comes through the , an NBB program that aims to educate and collaborate with young scientists.

At this premier biodiesel event, students can attend conference sessions and network with top scientists in the field. They may also apply to present a poster on their biodiesel-related research or outreach during a poster session. Some will be invited to present during a breakout session.

"This opportunity allowed me to make contacts with NGSB members and biodiesel professionals that I would never have made otherwise," said Colin Stewart, a student at the University of Colorado – Boulder who attended the event in 2014. "The conference opened my eyes to the biodiesel industry, its future, and how I can play a role in it.

Last year, 16 students from nine universities received scholarships to attend the conference. The scholarships are funded by state soybean organizations and the United Soybean Board through the soybean checkoff. Visit the NGSB scholarship program page to learn more or apply.

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Minnesota Retail Fuel Testing Confirms High Biodiesel Quality


Recent field testing from more than 30 random retail stations scattered throughout the state of Minnesota showed biodiesel blends greatly exceeding important fuel quality parameters set by the industry. This real-world data showcases the recent trend in increasing biodiesel quality from coast-to-coast.


Minnesota just completed their first summer of a successful run with 10 percent biodiesel (B10) in diesel fuel statewide. Industry experts say the quality of biodiesel in the field is a result of the increasing awareness of quality control measures from production all the way down to the retail level.

"Biodiesel fuel quality is at an all-time high across the industry," said Scott Fenwick, National Biodiesel Board technical director. "The recent results from the Minnesota testing are just another example of why consumers can feel confident about filling up with biodiesel blends."

A key indicator of fuel quality in biodiesel blends is oxidative stability, which is a measure of degradation caused by exposure to oxygen. Blind samples were taken in September from retailers across three regions in Minnesota — north, metro, and south. All of the samples taken surpassed the minimum required specification for oxidative stability and the majority of the samples were three to four times better than the minimum. Fenwick said, "Higher values indicate even better stability, and this new real-world data is important as some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) look for more assurances that biodiesel blends are meeting specifications at the pump."

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Lawmakers Concerned Biofuel Cuts Would Undermine Climate Targets 

In early October, two leading Democrats, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, wrote a letter to the White House asking President Obama to continue growing advanced biofuels volumes under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), including biodiesel. In the letter, the lawmakers expressed their concern over the effects of the proposed cuts in biofuel volumes on carbon pollution, citing a study that found the proposed targets would increase net carbon pollution by 28.2 million metric tons in 2014.

The senators argued maintaining the proposed cuts would undermine the Administration's efforts to build a renewable fuels program, a significant component to reducing carbon emissions in the United States. Furthermore, they pointed out slashing RFS volumes would have far-reaching consequences combating climate change, a priority issue for President Obama.

This letter is particularly significant because Boxer is chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees the EPA, and Markey is well-known as a leader on energy and environment issues in Congress. Their letter sends a clear message from leading senators to the White House that increasing biodiesel volumes under the RFS will help their efforts to reduce harmful carbon emissions. We encourage all biodiesel advocates to thank the senators for supporting biodiesel by calling Sen. Boxer's office at (202) 224-3553 and Sen. Markey's office at (202) 224-2742.

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Biodiesel Teen Cassandra Lin Honored with Nickelodeon HALO Award

Westerly, R.I., teenager Cassandra Lin, founder of Turning Grease into Fuel (TGIF), was announced as a Nickelodeon HALO (Helping and Leading Others) Award honoree Oct. 12 in New York City. TGIF collects local donations of used cooking oil to heat the homes of families in need. Nick Cannon, the host, creator, and executive producer of the HALO Awards, surprised Lin with a check for $10,000 for her college education.

The Nickelodeon HALO Awards is an hour-long concert special celebrating extraordinary youth who are involved in their communities. The star-studded musical event is held at New York's Pier 36 and premieres Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The event will air and stream live across Nickelodeon networks.

"We're taking over New York City with the hottest musical performers and the most awe-inspiring kids for one huge, fun night at this year's Nickelodeon HALO Awards," said Cannon. "The HALO Awards embodies the altruistic spirit of the holidays with its positive message, and I can't wait to celebrate the terrific work of these young heroes."

The Nickelodeon HALO Awards show is an annual event that recognizes kids doing extraordinary things in their communities by "Helping and Leading Others." In addition to being awarded a grant for their organization, and scholarship funds, each honoree is given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet celebrities that share their same passion for service. For more information, visit www.nick.com/halo.

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San Francisco Highlights Biodiesel Success Stories

When it comes to biodiesel, San Francisco hits a homerun. The area's many biodiesel patrons make it one of the top cities in the nation for biodiesel use. Some of their success stories took center stage in October, during the Bay Area Biodiesel Summit.

Marty Mellera, Sustainability Manager for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, spoke about their use of B20 in the agency's 500 hybrid-diesel buses. He noted that their transition to B20 has proven to be highly effective at reducing carbon emissions with many years of data supporting the fact.

The City of San Francisco also uses B20. Robert Hayden, Clean Transportation program manager, said, "Forty percent of our greenhouse gas emissions are generated by transportation. The more we can reduce emissions from diesel use - that's the biggest bang for our buck. Biodiesel is a major priority for the City of San Francisco."

The city displaces 1 million gallons of diesel every year with biodiesel.

Those attending included regulators, fuel distributors, and fleet managers in Northern California. The program also included a presentation by director of sustainability for the National Biodiesel Board, Don Scott. Keith Kerman of the City of New York, a Biodiesel Ambassador, served as the keynote lunch speaker.

NBB assisted the San Francisco Clean Cities chapter with the planning and hosting of the event.

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North Carolina Lawyer Powered by Biodiesel

Asheville attorney, Lakota Denton has been powering his vehicle with biodiesel from Blue Ridge Biofuels for the past eight years. He logs thousands of miles across North Carolina every month as an attorney for Minick Law PC.

Today Denton drives a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI. Previously he owned a Dodge Ram Cummins Turbo Diesel. He uses biodiesel in an effort to support local business, reduce emissions, and utilize an alternative energy source to Big Oil. He particularly appreciates how Blue Ridge Biofuels partners with local businesses to use their recycled oil, as it bolsters community involvement and a sense of ownership.

Denton says his experience has been very positive with biodiesel over the past eight years, with no negative effect on fuel economy. He adds that his vehicle runs great, with no issues, and no needed maintenance as a result of using biodiesel.

Blue Ridge Biofuels is a community-based biodiesel manufacturer committed to building the local alternative energy economy by producing affordable clean fuels for the community of Western North Carolina through sustainable business practices that offer opportunities for community development, local jobs, and biofuel education.

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Iowa Hawkeyes Drive it Home with Biodiesel

The Iowa Soybean Association has partnered with the University of Iowa to transport the Hawkeye football team to the field in a biodiesel-fueled bus. The bus runs on a five percent blend of biodiesel (B5), a blend created from Iowa-grown soybeans.

"We have great respect for the role farmers play in feeding and fueling our state and the Hawkeye nation," said Gary Barta, University of Iowa athletics director. "We are proud to partner with the Iowa Soybean Association; they are a great addition to Hawkeye game day activities."

With 13 processing plants supporting more than 7,000 jobs, Iowa is the leading biodiesel-producing state.

"Biodiesel is a win for the state's economy and environment," said Tom Cleghorn, Iowa Soybean Association president and farmer. "Teaming up with the Hawkeyes by using America's first advanced biofuel is a victory for all Iowans."

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Ford Hauls Bad Guys Away with Biodiesel and E85

Ford is doing its part to clean up the streets and the environment according to this recent Domestic Fuel article. The automaker has introduced its new 2015 Ford Transit Prisoner Transport Vehicle (Transit PTV). The Transit PTV is capable of hauling up to 12 prisoners at a time and can run on biodiesel or E85 ethanol.

"Transit PTV is the latest example of Ford's deep commitment to helping provide law enforcement agencies with capable vehicles," said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford police marketing manager. "This concept proves Transit is upfit-ready and designed to the Built Ford Tough standards."

TransitPTV is available in three heights, two wheelbases, three lengths, and four body styles. It provides a range of powertrain choices and engine options. Two gasoline engine options include an E85-capable 3.7-liter V6 and a 3.5-liter EcoBoost®. The diesel engine is a 3.2-liter Power Stroke®, which is able to run on B20 biodiesel.

Ford is known for its police vehicles. The Transit PTV joins Ford's Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle, Special Service Police Sedan, F-150 Special Service Vehicle and Expedition Special Service Vehicle.

The only people who won't like the Transit PTV will be the prisoners it hauls away.

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Past issues are available upon request.