NBB Chair Calls for Industry Unity

NBB Chair Steven LevyThe Chair of the National Biodiesel Board is Steven J. Levy, Sprague Operating Resources LLC. This is his first conference as the Chair so when he spoke at today’s general session he told a little bit about himself and his background. He’s the first NBB Chair who is not a farmer, producer or from the Midwest.

Steven spoke about the work of the National Biodiesel Board and the challenges that it will overcome by being a unified voice for the industry.

You can listen to Steven’s remarks here: Steven Levy Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Ride & Drive

Chevy CruzeYou can ride or drive a brand new diesel vehicle at the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference today. Not only conference attendees but the general public.

There are four vehicles outside the San Diego Convention Center from Hino, Ford, General Motors and Jeep. I chose the Chevy Cruze and rode along and made a little video clip with my Google Glass. It will give you an idea of what the experience is like.

There are lots of new photos in our online album now too:
2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Innovation Award to Chevy Cruze

Innovation AwardThe first of this year’s Eye on Biodiesel Awards was presented this morning for Innovation. It was presented to General Motors and the B20-Approved Chevrolet Cruze.

General Motors continues to be a leading biodiesel supporter among OEM’s. This year the company took another step forward introducing the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel – the first B20-approved light-duty passenger sedan. This new technology diesel engine powered by ultra-low sulfur biodiesel blends provides tailpipe emissions as clean as or cleaner than natural gas and gasoline, while providing superior fuel economy, horsepower and durability. The Chevy Cruze is the cleanest diesel passenger car model ever produced by General Motors and with the use of clean, renewable B20, it’s also now the greenest.

Accepting the award was Shailesh Lopes, Sr. Fuels Engineer, GM Powertrain, Fuels Group. Making comments was Chris Farmer, Manager of Aftersales, Chevrolet Southern California.

You can listen to comments from Chris here: Chris Farmer Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Winning Teamwork Needed by Biodiesel Industry

Jim CraigThe current situation with the RFS has pitted the big petroleum industry against an industry that has made great strides in developing renewable and clean energy. Attendees at the National Biodiesel Conference today got some motivation and inspiration from Jim Craig, 1980 U.S. Hockey Team goalie on when they won gold at the Winter Olympics in what has been called the greatest sports moment in the 20th Century.

Jim encouraged all elements of the biodiesel industry to come together as a team. When comparing the industry to the petroleum industry in this fight he said to “Become the winning underdog.” I visited with him right after his speech.

You can listen to my interview with Jim here: Jim Craig Interview

You can listen to a brief excerpt of Jim’s remarks here: Jim Craig Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Joe Jobe Exposes Renewable Energy Reality

Joe Jobe NBBThis morning Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board, rallied his troops at the National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego. He told attendees that the petroleum industry is misleading Americans about fuel policy and called on President Barack Obama to stand firm behind his previous commitments to supporting alternative energy industries.

In his annual address at the Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jobe shed light on current industry challenges and exposed cracks in how we think about energy.

He pointed out that biodiesel’s story is not unique, “Biodiesel’s story is an example of how effective government policy can be to jump start a fledgling industry. That is the same story of nearly every new industry that involves technological development. Strong government policy support along with a unique spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and risk-taking are the primary reasons that so many major modern industries had their start in America.”

You can listen to Joe’s speech here: Joe Jobe Speech

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Underway

2014 National Biodiesel ConferenceThe 2014 National Biodiesel Conference is underway in San Diego. This evening attendees got together for a welcome reception at the San Diego Convention Center. It looks like we’re going to have an even larger crowd than was first thought!

I’ve got photos to share with you and tomorrow will have full coverage of the opening general session and interviews and more. Right now you can find photos online which I will be adding to when I can throughout the convention: 2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Blogging Again

2014 National Biodiesel ConferenceIt’s that time. The 2014 National Biodiesel Conference is next week. I’ll be on location once again and working as the Biodiesel Blogger on the NBB Conference Blog.

Things will get going late Monday and through Wednesday. You can find the program here. I’ll be sharing lots of photos and interviews as I find them. Hope you enjoy them.

Our John Davis got a preview of the conference from NBB CEO Joe Jobe last month. Listen in if you missed it. Joe Jobe, CEO NBB

Sullivan Solar Power Using Glass

Michael ChagalaRight after receiving my Glass I got a news alert from Sullivan Solar Power about their unique use of this new technology. What timing!

So I got in touch with Michael Chagala, Director of IT, and we talked about how they’re employing Glass in their field operations. In the photo Michael is “wearing.”

Sullivan Solar Power developed their own app for Glass and now places a set of Glass on the head of their field service technicians. This means that when the technicians go out to service a client they can basically carry all the data and information on all their products via Glass going hands free which means a lot for efficiency and safety, especially when you’re climbing ladders and working on a roof. Additionally, they can stream live video back to headquarters when they need to to share and get opinions and feedback from other technical support. It’s a fascinating step forward for a technology that some folks have at first made fun of but are now finding has many applications to businesses.

Listen to my interview with Michael to learn more: Sullivan Solar Power & Glass

Free Fuel Happy Hour at Sturgis Buffalo Chip

RFA at Sturgis Buffalo ChipThe founder and President of the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground, Rod Woodruff, was the first motorcycle rider to fill up at the Renewable Fuels Association “Free Fuel Happy Hour” yesterday. Rod knows that a high octane E10 blend will run just fine in his motorcycle.

At yesterday’s event around 160 motorcycles made it through the line to get filled up and we’re doing it again today and tomorrow. I interviewed a number of riders and will be sharing those with you in coming days. Internet access has been very sporadic and today I’m heading to Denver for the Cattle Industry Summer Conference.

2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Photo Album

Legends Ride Features Ethanol

Robert White Renewable Fuels AssociationThe Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in full swing and one of the highlights of the event is the 2013 Legends Ride. It began yesterday in Deadwood, South Dakota and ended at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground where the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is a sponsor. This is the site where RFA will also be pumping free 93 octane E10 today and tomorrow for riders.

Chuck Zimmerman caught up with RFA’s motorcycle expert and enthusiast Robert White just before he rode off with the tens of thousands of other riders for the Legends Ride. White said that this is the fifth year Ethanol, Fueled with Pride has sponsored the event. The event is limited to 200 riders, comprised of celebrities, motorcycle builders, riders and more and the event is designed to raise money for charity. This year White said all the funds raised will go to the Black Hills Special Olympics and part of the effort is to fund the vehicle they take to the events.

RFA, or “ethanol” is also involved in other events taking place at Sturgis including the art exhibit at the Buffalo Chip Campground, where motorcycles that can’t be seen anywhere else are on display as well as a few other events. But White said beyond that, they are here for one main reason and that is to promote ethanol.

“This year we’ve had a lot of push back from the American Motorcyclists Association (AMA) and it’s really focused around E15 and it has gotten really confusing to a lot of people. We want folks to use the right fuel; to know what type of fuel they can use, and in fact Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1-4 pm at the Buffalo Chip, we have 93 octane E10 that I has especially blended for the riders who can come and fill their tanks for free….And we’ll show them that indeed E10 will work just fine.”

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Robert here: Interview with Robert White

2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Photo Album

Buffalo Chip Founder Loves Ethanol

Rod Woodruff Buffalo ChipThe founder and President of The Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground is Rod Woodruff. Here’s Rod after being presented with a special surprise during a dinner here at the Chip during the 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Apparently his staff and friends had his motorcycle completely re-designed with a very cool look.

I visited with him just before the presentation and found out that the Chip had a record opening weekend. He says it just keeps growing. I know I’ve seen a lot more riders here than when I attended the event two years ago. When it comes to the sponsorship relationship with the Renewable Fuels Association he is very happy. Especially happy that RFA is supplying free 93 octane E10 for riders in the Chip.

You can listen to my interview with Woody here: Interview with Rod Woodruff

2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Photo Album

Free Fuel at Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Ride Safe Fuel RightRide Safe. Fuel Right.

Today and tomorrow motorcycle riders at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground can fill up for free. The Renewable Fuels Association is once again making a blend of 93 octane E10 gas available at the CrossRoads area of The Chip from 1 to 4pm. While riders get filled up they can talk with RFA staffers to learn what blends of ethanol can be used in their motorcycles and other engines.

I’m looking forward to talking with some of these riders and will be sharing their stories right here on Domestic Fuel.

2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Photo Album

Riding Safe, Fueling Right at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Ride Safe Fuel RightRide Safe. Fuel Right. That’s the message from the Renewable Fuels Association here in Sturgis, SD at the 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I’m on location for the next couple days at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground where I’ll be documenting the activities with staff members from RFA. We’ll start out with a dinner tonight and the Legends Ride tomorrow that takes off in Deadwood.

According to the Legendary Buffalo Chip it has been a record opening weekend already for this year’s rally.

Legendary Buffalo Chip CampgroundThe Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling™ is off to a record-breaking start. With some campers arriving nearly two weeks prior to the festival kickoff, the sea of people and rumble of bikes for the first two nights of performances was larger than the Sturgis Buffalo Chip campground has ever seen before.

“We’re very excited about attendance we’ve seen so far and look forward to what this year’s rally has in store.” Says Rod Woodruff, President of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. “In addition, it’s a huge honor to have CMT television filming their Bike Week series here and we’re excited to be able to send a piece of the Chip into millions of home across the country.”

I’ve got a photo album started which I’ll be adding to when I can. You can also expect to hear interviews with a variety of folks including some of the bikers here. I hope you enjoy the coverage and feel free to share: 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Photo Album

Motorcycle Enthusiasts Choose Ethanol at Sturgis Rally

Renewable Fuels Association at SturgisEthanol will be on display in Sturgis, SD once again this year in front of a huge crowd at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground and the 73rd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I’ll be working with our good friends at the Renewable Fuels Association. They are partnered with the event and venue to promote the use of ethanol fuel to motorcycle enthusiasts. And having been there once, let me tell you, these are motorcycle enthusiasts!

RFA has produced promotional and educational materials, banners and merchandise including koozies and t-shirts (featured above) exclusively for this event that will be handed out at various locations during the week. The RFA’s promotional trailer will be featured at The Crossroads, a gathering area for riders. The Sturgis Rally offers an opportunity for attendees to be educated on ethanol-blended fuel as it is often mischaracterized as a problem fuel for engines found in motorcycles.

New this year, campers at the Buffalo Chip will see more ethanol promotional efforts on the jumbotrons during the day and concerts at night as videos play 144 times each day. Banners will now also wrap the jumbotrons.

Returning this year is the opportunity for riders to fuel their motorcycles for free. The “Free Fuel Happy Hours” promotion will allow motorcyclists to fill their tank, free of charge, with 93 octane E10 (10 percent ethanol). This high octane fuel is not available in the area, and will be brought in specifically for this event. To fill up, riders must have a Buffalo Chip wristband and no fuel containers will be allowed. The Free Fuel Happy Hours will be on Tuesday, August 6, Wednesday, August 7 and Thursday, August 8 at The Crossroads at the Buffalo Chip from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

“We’re very pleased to have the Renewable Fuels Association at the Chip and offer our campers some education and free ethanol-blended fuel,” said Rod Woodruff of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. “The RFA will be here to address some of the loose talk we all hear about motorcycles and ethanol. Personally, I’ve used home-grown American ethanol-blended fuel in my motorcycle for years. Naturally, I’m looking forward to getting a free fill at the Buffalo Chip’s CrossRoads during the RFA’s ‘Free Fuel Happy Hours’ and, hopefully, even get some free ‘Fueled with Pride’ stuff.”

Florida House Committee Passes FL RFS Repeal Bill

Florida House of RepresentativesYesterday I traveled to Tallahassee, Florida to testify at a hearing of the Florida House of Representatives Regulatory Affairs Committee on HB 4001 which is a bill to repeal the Florida Renewable Fuel Standard. This hearing was actually an extension of one held previously that ran out of time to conclude. You can watch the session here. The portion on HB 4001 starts about 39 minutes in and you can easily fast forward to it.

When you see the bill sponsor, Representative Matt Gaetz, introduce the session you’ll understand my compulsion to attend to try to help clear up the numerous things he said about ethanol that are just plain wrong. These include the now completely dis-credited food vs. fuel debate, that it harms automobile engines, that it is bad for the environment, etc. It’s all out of the play book of large oil companies and large food company interests. I was not alone in opposition to this bill. Some of the others testifying in opposition included Bradley Krohn, President, United States EnviroFuels, LLC and Bobby Likis, Bobby Likis Car Clinic. There were a number of others that you’ll see in the video recording.

Unfortunately, the bill passed by a narrow margin. A companion bill is in the Florida Senate, SB 320. After the session I spoke with both Bradley and Bobby to get their thoughts on the action taken by this committee.

Bradley says his company has been developing a 30 million gallon advanced ethanol plant project which will use sugar cane and sweet sorghum as primary feedstocks. They are very close to construction. He says the House committee got it wrong, buying into a lot of myths about ethanol. This sends a chilling effect to the financial community for investing in advanced biofuel projects in the state of Florida. His company is in the process still of funding their project. He says it sends a message that Florida doesn’t care about economic stimulus and job creation. There was an attempt to pass this bill last year that stalled on the Senate side and he hopes that will happen again this year.

Listen to my interview with Bradley Krohn here: Interview with Bradley Krohn

Bobby Likis also testified and corrected a number of factual errors that were presented to the committee, especially on how ethanol performs in an engine. He was very disappointed by the committee vote in the face of overwhelming evidence that the Florida RFS is working and reducing the cost of gas to Floridians. He says it will make him fight harder to make sure the bill doesn’t pass at the Senate. He says that if it does pass and the price of gas goes up in Florida we should call it a Gaetz Tax!

Listen to my interview with Bobby Likis here: Interview with Bobby Likis