|Uncertainty Remains as RFS Volume Delay Continues |
EPA took a big step recently in finalizing the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
volumes when it sent its final proposal to the White House Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) for interagency review on August 22. This is nine months behind
EPA’s statutory deadline of November 2013 to release the final rule. OMB typically
takes 30 to 90 days for interagency review, a timeframe that would push the final
release date anytime from mid-September to November, possibly after the elections.
Uncertainty remains as EPA has not released any information regarding
the final volume numbers for renewable fuels, including biodiesel. A number
of elected officials have reported recently that the EPA has made clear that the
biodiesel volume will increase from the original proposal of 1.28 billion gallons.
To what extent, however, is not known.
The National Biodiesel Board
and its members will continue to press the White House and others in the Administration
that an increase to at least 1.7 billion gallons is critical for the industry’s
continued growth and success. Policy setbacks have taken a major toll on the biodiesel
industry. A nationwide survey of producers conducted by NBB in April found that
nearly 80 percent of U.S. biodiesel producers had scaled back production and more
than half had idled production at a plant altogether.
Tour Educates Through Immersion
Renewable Fuels Association’s Biofuels: Science & Sustainability
Tour brought representatives from eight states to Iowa recently to see first-hand
biodiesel, ethanol, and modern production agriculture. The four-day tour was designed
to educate federal and state agency officials and US Congressional staff members
on the wide-ranging benefits of biofuels to the nation.
“Coming from Iowa, the
benefits of biodiesel have always been clear to me,” said Evan Jurkovich, senior
legislative assistant to Congressman Dave Loebsack, and tour attendee. “The
biofuels tour only added emphasis to that and showed just how valuable the biodiesel
industry is to our growing bioeconomy.”
The group included staff
members from Senate and House of Representative offices from both sides of the
isle representing Iowa, Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota,
South Dakota, and New Hampshire, along with a number of agencies.
“With a variety of policy
makers from all over on the tour, what I thought the most important part was seeing
first-hand the high skilled jobs this brings to our rural economies,” Loebsack
said. “It was great to see that the biodiesel and bioeconomy industries are
here and very real right now and are only going to continue to grow especially
if a strong RFS is maintained.”
Attendees visited biodiesel producer
Western Dubuque Biodiesel in Farley, Iowa and heard presentations on production,
policy, sustainability, economics, and feedstock production from biodiesel industry representatives.
Other sponsors included the
National Biodiesel Foundation, the Iowa
Biodiesel Board, the Iowa
Soybean Association, Iowa State University, and other biofuels groups.
Your Alt-Fuel Bandwidth: Join the Biodiesel Alliance and Backers
do John Deere, Willamette Valley Vineyards and the Silicon Valley Clean Cities
Coalition have in common? They support biodiesel and stay up to date through the Biodiesel Alliance.
If you want to move American-made,
cleaner burning biodiesel forward, the National Biodiesel Board invites you to
join the Biodiesel
Alliance & Backers. You’ll receive updates relevant to biodiesel, America’s
Advanced Biofuel, such as new pump openings in your area and exclusive webinars.
There are two options to
choose from, or you can choose both! Your organization can join the Alliance.
This is a diverse coalition of organizations, agencies and businesses from across
the nation that find common ground in their support for biodiesel fuel. As an
individual, you can join the Backers.
NBB founded the Biodiesel Backers program in response to growing interest from
people who wanted to learn about biodiesel information and opportunities. Join
thousands of other Biodiesel Backers who recognize the benefits of biodiesel to
energy security, the environment, human health and the U.S. economy!
by Bacon? With Biodiesel, You Bet
on earth could someone drive a vehicle using bacon power? While it sounds far-out,
Hormel Foods Corp. did just that last month by converting the grease left behind
from frying up bacon into biodiesel and putting it into the tank of a custom diesel motorcycle.
The bike was built by CSE
Engineering and was based on a 2011 Track T-800CDI model. Hormel Foods and marketing
firm BBDO Minneapolis sponsored the biodiesel motorcycle to ride from Austin,
Minnesota to San Diego for the International Bacon Film Festival. Along the way
the crew filmed for a movie called, “Driven
By Bacon” that was shown at the film festival August 29th.
“The journey is sort of
the destination,” said Scott Schraufnagel, account director for BBDO.
Hormel representatives say
the marketing push is an exciting opportunity to spread the word about Hormel’s
Black Label Bacon brand and will likely be used as a promotional tool in the future. It also brought
a lot of positive attention to biodiesel along the way with stories in publications
from coast-to-coast. While there likely won’t be any commercial production plants
built specifically for bacon grease biodiesel production, it does highlight the
wide variety of fats and oils that can be turned into biodiesel.
Hits the Road as Students Hit the Books
children across the country back in school, many school districts are turning
to biodiesel to help ensure the air they breathe is clean.
Anyone who has had to sit
in traffic behind a diesel-fueled bus understands concerns about the more than
24 million children who ride some 440,000 buses to and from school each day. Pollution
from diesel vehicles has health implications for everyone, especially children.
The use of biodiesel can reduce that threat. Here are some schools that are taking action:
The Haverford, PA school
district’s fleet of 70 buses traveled over 716,000 miles last year, transporting
more than 4,600 students and burned nearly 700,000 gallons of biodiesel. According
to their reports, the district reduced particulate emissions by 521 pounds, while
reducing carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, and sulfur oxide and saving
an estimated $221,600 in health care costs.
Medford Township Public Schools, in Medford, NJ became the first
school district in the country to power its buses with biodiesel back in 1997.
“We transport 3,500 students a day in our buses,” said Joe Biluck, Director
of Operations and Technology for Medford Township Public Schools. “This biodiesel program was started for them.”
American University and Georgetown
University, both located in our nation’s capital, are two of the many universities
that power their campus shuttle buses with biodiesel.
Is your school district,
local college or university using biodiesel? If not, ask why and share information
on why America’s Advanced Biofuel – biodiesel – makes sense.
Biodiesel Conference: Certainty in Shifting Markets
we head into fall, now is the time to start planning your trip to the 12th
annual National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, January 19-22, 2015 at the Fort
Worth, Texas Convention Center.
“In my seventeen years in the biodiesel
world the most predictable dynamic of this growing industry has been unpredictability;
a constant evolution of the market and its ever-transforming challenges,” said
Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “I can't tell you today with
certainty exactly what our landscape will look like when we meet in January for
the conference. What I do know is that this conference will be at the center of it.”
“As it has proven to be
in years past, the conference will be a point of certainty. It is a place to come
hear directly from those at the top of our field where we are and where we might
be going. It is a place to see, meet and interact with those who are not only
still standing but also thriving.”
The conference has a proven
track record. Investment in time and money to participate will return value to
you and your organization in both dollars and your role in the industry.
Conference details can be
in the coming weeks. If you have ideas for breakout sessions or speakers, please
contact Kaleb Little in the NBB office.
Fuel Conference to Include Diesel Tech Training
An event bringing together fleet managers and industry experts
will be hosted at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center October 22-24.
Alternative Fuel Conference will provide networking opportunities, education
on fleet efficiency and hands-on experience with technology. The event will feature
breakout sessions, one-on-one conversations with the nation’s leading technology
providers, 50 exhibitors and 20 vehicles at the Expo Hall and Ride-and-Drive events.
Attendees can hear alternative fuel success stories and discuss policies that affect the industry.
year, the largest alternative fuels conference on the east coast will feature
five free co-located events, including “Biodiesel
for Diesel Technicians Training,” presented by the National Biodiesel Board.
Taking place October 22, the program is designed to train diesel auto-technicians
to better understand biodiesel and advise their customers.
Program Brings Biodiesel to Iowa Middle Schools
is making its way into Iowa’s middle school science classrooms thanks to a new
Iowa State University program.
Teachers recently toured Renewable
Energy Group, Inc. (REG)’s biorefinery in Newton, Iowa receiving an overview
of the company’s biodiesel business and production process. The visit was part
of the Summer Academy for Middle School Teachers, a three-week summer program
at ISU that draws teachers from across the state.
The academy provides teachers
with hands-on experiences, exposure to cutting-edge research, and an opportunity
for collaboration with faculty. Through the academy, teachers develop classroom
material related to renewable fuels and other products for their students. They
also must complete a small research project and present on it.
“The focus is specifically
on renewables and giving teachers a better understanding of the bioeconomy in
Iowa,” said Stacy Renfro, program coordinator at ISU. “We are teaching them
why they are important and giving them firsthand experience, so they can then
pass it on to their students.”
Iowa’s Experimental Program to
Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the National Science Foundation Engineering
Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) sponsor the academy which is
in its fourth year. Teachers are selected through an application process.