Biodiesel Voices to be Heard at EPA Hearing

nbb-logoWe will be at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), ready to kick off in just a couple of hours in Arlington, Va., just across the river from the nation’s capital. Advocates and friends of biofuels are expected to turn out en masse, including our friends from the National Biodiesel Board, who plan to bring about two dozen representatives of the U.S. biodiesel industry to make the case that biodiesel is already an EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel produced at a commercial-scale and how the EPA’s proposal to reduce biodiesel production to 1.28 billion gallons will hurt the economy and the environment.

“This industry has been running at an annualized rate of about 2 billion gallons since July. That’s displacing 2 billion gallons of petroleum diesel,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “You can’t cut it almost in half and expect jobs and businesses to survive.”

“What’s so frustrating about the proposal is that biodiesel is an EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel that has exceeded RFS targets. It’s an RFS success story that is creating the clean-energy jobs that the Obama Administration has pushed so hard for in recent years,” Steckel added. “There is not a commercial-scale fuel on the planet that beats the environmental benefits that biodiesel delivers. By the EPA’s own calculations, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emission by 57 percent to 86 percent. So we will be looking for answers from the EPA and the Administration about why they are doing this. It is not consistent with the Administration’s stated policy.”

I’ll be there all day to follow the events and provide you updates, right here on Domestic Fuel.

Biodiesel Board Picks New Leadership

nbbboardNew leadership is in charge of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). During the group’s membership meeting yesterday in Washington DC, members voted to fill eight positions on the 15-person board, and new officers were elected.

“The biodiesel industry is on pace for record production in 2013 but the challenges facing this industry are significant,” said new NBB Chairman Steven J. Levy (seated in the center of the picture). “I am optimistic about our future as we face those challenges with a strong and diverse trade association membership united for the good of the industry, consumers, and the general public.”

Dozens of biodiesel stakeholders from across the country met with leaders on Capitol Hill on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to voice strong disappointment with the Obama Administration’s recent proposal for next year’s renewable fuels volumes.

Officers elected to lead the board are: Chairman, Steven J. Levy; Vice Chairman, Ron Marr; Treasurer, Mike Cunningham; and Secretary, Greg Anderson.

New elected governing board members include: Todd Ellis, Imperium Renewables; Kent Engelbrecht, ADM; Gary Haer, Renewable Energy Group; Ed Hegland, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council; Ron Marr, Minnesota Soybean Processors; Bob Metz, South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council; Robert Stobaugh, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board; and Ed Ulch, Iowa Soybean Association

Those continuing to serve on the governing board include: Greg Anderson, Nebraska Soybean Board; Jennifer Case, New Leaf Biofuel, LLC; Mike Cunningham, American Soybean Association; Brandon Foley, Sanimax Energy; Steven J. Levy, Sprague Operating Resources LLC; Timothy Keaveney, HERO BX; and John Wright, Owensboro Grain Company.

Biodiesel Booth at NAFB Talks Food & Fuel

nafb-nbbBiodiesel producers had plenty to talk about … and plenty of ears to listen … during the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) meeting in Kansas City. Makes sense, when you consider how connected the farming and biodiesel industries have been over the years. We caught up with two folks from the National Biodiesel Board at the group’s booth at NAFB: NBB Economist Alan Weber and NBB board member Greg Anderson.

Speaking before the EPA had officially released its lowered Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) numbers, Alan said the proposed numbers of 1.28 billion gallons for next year, when the industry is approaching 1.7 billion gallons this year, would significantly hurt the 60,000-job biodiesel industry.

“That movement backwards would actually be about 8,000 jobs in the U.S. that we would lose and all that ripple effect throughout the economy,” he said, pointing out that biodiesel is the first commercially available advanced biofuel, getting the job done now.

“There’s a lot of unique alternative fuels out there. We can talk about electricity and hybrid electrics, but when we start thinking about how we move products in the United States, it’s going to be in diesel-powered, class-A over-the-road trucks, powered by a liquid biofuel. And that’s where biodiesel fits in.”

Interview with Alan Weber, NBB economist

Some of the knocks against biodiesel have come from falsehoods spread about how it is hurting livestock producers. Greg, who is a soybean farmer and livestock producer from Nebraska, said just the opposite is true as the soybean meal produced during the crush to get the oil actually enhances the livestock market.

“It works well together. It adds about $12 for every beef carcass, about $1.25 for pork and a few cents for each chicken. It all adds up. We see the value in biodiesel in lowering soybean meal prices, conservatively $25 a ton less. If biodiesel wasn’t there, it’d be more expensive to purchase and higher input costs for those folks to feed,” Greg said.

He also pointed out that while the soybean oil makes up about 19 percent of the bean, right now, because of biodiesel, it’s represents 40 percent of the bean’s value, producing food and fuel.

“We’re not only feeding America, but we’re fueling America.”

Interview with Greg Anderson, NBB board member

Biodiesel Backers Make Case on RFS to Congress

nbb19nov2Biodiesel backers are not quite ready to throw in the towel when it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Backed by the National Biodiesel Board, they took to Washington, D.C. to voice their disappointment with the Obama Administration’s recent proposal for next year’s renewable fuels volumes.

“If the EPA freezes the biomass-based diesel target, it would put our company out of business,” said [Ben] Wootton, president and CEO of Keystone BioFuels of Camp Hill, Pa. [which faces closure because of the EPA's proposed numbers]. “Keystone is just starting to come out of a reorganization plan. The EPA proposed freeze on biomass-based diesel would essentially cut our current market in half and force us to shut our doors. It would be a major step back for the environment and the economy in our state.”

Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, said more than 100 biodiesel supporters, representing more than two dozen states from California to Iowa to North Carolina, will be making sure their members of Congress understand that this proposal will eliminate jobs and threaten production in their states.

“Our producers are frustrated and disappointed that the Administration, with no explanation, is essentially freezing a growing Advanced Biofuel industry for the next two years at production levels far below where they are today,” Steckel said. “Biodiesel is an RFS success story, and this proposal turns its back on that success and on the producers who have made it happen.”

NBB points out the biodiesel industry is on track to produce a record of about 1.7 billion gallons this year, which makes the EPA’s target for the next two years of only 1.28 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel even more puzzling. NBB has already projected the proposal could cost 8,000 jobs or more.

Biodiesel Industry Responds to EPA 2014 RVOs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) today and the biomass-based diesel category was proposed for 1.28 billion gallons, less than what the industry is currently able to produce. Biodiesel production is on track to set a production record exceeding 1.7 billion gallons this year, using an increasingly diverse mix of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils and animal fats.

In response, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) warned that the EPA’s 2014 proposal would cause plant closures and layoffs in the U.S. biodiesel industry and called on the Obama Administration to recommit to developing American-made Advanced Biofuels.

nbb-logo“The growth in domestic biodiesel production dovetails exactly with President Obama’s statement in July of this year that ‘biofuels are already reducing our dependence on oil, cutting pollution and creating jobs around the country,’” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “This is why EPA’s action today is so surprising and disappointing.”

Steckel continued, “This proposal, if it becomes final, would create a shrinking market, eliminate thousands of jobs and likely cause biodiesel plants to close across the country. It also sends a terrible signal to investors and entrepreneurs that jeopardizes the future development of biodiesel and other Advanced Biofuels in the United States.”

“This Administration has for years supported strong renewable fuels policies and encouraged investment in this industry,” Steckel added. “The private sector has responded to these policies by meeting or exceeding the Advanced Biofuels requirements in every year of the RFS. The Administration should be celebrating that success and continuing the momentum, not retreating.”

Amanda Cunningham of Veros Energy, a biodiesel producer in Moundville, Alabama, is among those in the industry whose job is at risk under the proposal. Cunningham and her husband both work at the company, supporting a family of six children.

“If biodiesel volumes are decreased, it has a hard, hard trickle down impact,” Cunningham said. “We would surely have layoffs; layoffs reduce production; reduced production drops the bottom line; and at that point the plant might as well shut down.” Continue reading

Repub. & Dem. Senators Call for Biodiesel Support

us-capitol-fiscal-cliff-voteNearly a third of the U.S. Senate, with lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle, calls for support from the Obama Administration regarding biodiesel and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The National Biodiesel Board says the group represents people from Washington state to Minnesota to Maine and calls for a volume requirement of at least 1.7 billion gallons next year.

The letter … was led by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). It warned that a weakened RFS could lead to plant closures and thousands of lost jobs while threatening future investment.

“Biodiesel has exceeded RFS targets in each year and is clearly poised to do so again in 2013,” the senators wrote. “Biodiesel is improving our energy security by reducing our dependence on imported petroleum diesel, diversifying fuel supplies and creating competition in the fuels market. Setting the 2014 biodiesel volume requirement at reduced levels could have severe impacts on the domestic biodiesel industry.”

Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, thanked the senators for their support.

“This strong showing of bipartisan support represents the very real impact that biodiesel is having in communities across the country,” Steckel said. “It is creating jobs, reducing emissions and diversifying our fuel supplies so that consumers and our economy are not so vulnerable to volatile global oil markets.”

“Biodiesel is an RFS success story,” she said, “and we are urging the Administration to continue the momentum.”

Just for the record, here are the names of those signing on: Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Angus King (I-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jon Tester (D-MT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Mark Kirk (R-IL. ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kay Hagan (D-NC).

You can read the full text of their letter here.

Biodiesel Board: Weak RFS Could Cost 8,000 Jobs

nbb-logoA strong Renewable Fuels Standard that sees 2 billion gallons of biodiesel production would mean about 66,600 jobs for the U.S. biodiesel industry. But a weak RFS, producing just 1.28 billion gallons of the green fuel as a leaked EPA proposal would call for, means losing about 8,000 of those jobs. This news release from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) says that’s a lot of paychecks as the current record pace of 1.7 billion gallons this year supports more than 62,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in wages.

“This is further evidence that a growing biodiesel industry and a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are good for the economy,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). “Biodiesel is a true RFS success story, and we should continue that momentum next year with modest growth that will create even more jobs.”

Biodiesel is made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils and animal fats. The study, which can be found here, found that employment supported by the industry would drop by almost 8,000 jobs if the EPA were to limit production to 1.28 billion gallons, the volume proposal included in a recently leaked EPA document outlining potential RFS standards next year.

“The negative impact of that proposal is clear – it would force biodiesel plants to close and put people out of work,” Steckel said. “The EPA and the Obama Administration can avoid that by supporting a strong 2014 standard that is at least consistent with this year’s production.”

LMC International, a global economic research firm, did the study on behalf of NBB.

Washington Leaders Recognized for Biodiesel Use

GWRCCC logo1Some leaders in the Washington, D.C. area are being recognized for their use of biodiesel. The latest edition of the National Biodiesel Board’s Biodiesel Bulletin says the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) honored the Smithsonian Institution and the District of Columbia Department of Public Works Fleet Management Administration for their part in using the green fuel to achieve “outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to a clean energy future.”

A local pioneer in biodiesel use, the Smithsonian received the Community Outreach Award during the GWRCCC’s Awards Luncheon on October 31. In addition to using biodiesel at the National Zoo and its other facilities, the Smithsonian has hosted a number biodiesel education workshops.

GWRCC also recognized another biodiesel user – the District of Columbia Department of Public Works Fleet Management Administration — as an award nominee. The District has implemented a far-reaching biodiesel program that is helping the city reduce harmful emissions and decrease petroleum use. Introduced in 2011, today biodiesel is fueling the city’s entire diesel fleet of 2,000 vehicles and equipment, including school buses, refuse trucks, street sweepers, emergency vehicles and more. The city used nearly 1.4 million gallons of biodiesel blends in 2012, displacing 202,318 gallons of petroleum in just one year. In addition, the D.C. Department of Public Works recently opened two of its biodiesel fueling sites to federal government vehicles.

The recognition came as part of a ceremony that honored 10 D.C. area leaders for their green energy commitments.

Feds Bust Biodiesel RIN Frauder

scalesofjustice1Federal charges against a company accused of biodiesel Renewable Identification Number (RIN) looks to stop fraud of the green fuel’s federal program. Biodiesel Magazine reports the government is charging an Indiana biodiesel firm with 88 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, false tax claims, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice, money laundering and securities fraud, for an investment scheme of more than $100 million.

The [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] alleges that when Imperial Petroleum purchased Middletown, Ind.-based e-Biofuels LLC as a subsidiary in 2010, e-Biofuels’ owners falsely represented that they were producing biodiesel from soybean oil and chicken fat. e-Biofuels received significant government incentives based on its biodiesel production representations. But e-Biofuels actually used middlemen to buy finished biodiesel and portrayed those purchases in fake invoices as the raw “feedstock” needed to produce biodiesel. e-Biofuels later sold the purchased biodiesel for as high as double the price it paid for it.

The government alleges that Craig Ducey, Chad Ducey, Chris Ducey and Brian Carmichael operated e-Biofuels and conspired with Joseph Furando and Evelyn Katirina Pattison (aka Katirina Tracy)—two executives with a pair of related New Jersey-based companies that operated under the names Caravan Trading Co. and Cima Green—to purchase RIN-stripped B99 from third parties, pretend that e-Biofuels had produced that fuel at its Middletown facility and fraudulently resell that fuel to customers as B100 with RINs and an available tax credit.

The SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Indianapolis charges Imperial Petroleum and [its CEO Jeffrey] Wilson as well as Craig and Chad Ducey and Carmichael, who now lives in Bend, Ore. The complaint also charges Caravan Trading LLC, Cima Green LLC, and Cima Energy Group and their operators Furando and Pattison (Tracy) for acting as the middlemen in the scheme. They allegedly provided false and misleading documents to deceive government regulators and attract investors to Imperial.

“This investigation has been underway for at least two years, and we commend the EPA and other federal authorities for moving it closer to resolution,” said Ben Evans, director of public affairs and federal communications for the National Biodiesel Board. “In two other known cases of similar fraud from this period, the perpetrators are now serving significant time behind bars. If these charges are true, we hope to see similar justice in this case.”

Those indicted could be looking at up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.

Next-Gen Scientists to Attend Biodiesel Conference

NBBconflogo2014-1The next-generation of scientists to advance biodiesel will get to network and look beyond the classrooms for educational opportunities. Thanks to donations from state soybean organizations and the United Soybean Board (USB), the National Biodiesel Board announced some selected students, such as Dan Browne from Texas A&M University, will get to attend the NBB’s Conference & Expo this January.

Browne has done just that by attending the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo twice on scholarship. He describes the conference as “a nexus of science, business, and policy where student scientists not only gain access to world-class biodiesel science and engineering, they get to observe the interplay between the key sectors that constitute the industry.”

Students studying a wide array of disciplines have a unique opportunity to grow their passion for biodiesel at the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, January 20-23 in San Diego.

“Attending the conference has provided an unparalleled opportunity to absorb knowledge from industry leaders,” said Browne who is pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry [and who co-chairs the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel, an NBB program that aims to educate and collaborate with young scientists.]. “This unique experience helped me to better understand the role of science within the greater framework, while giving me direct connections to the scientists at the cutting edge.”

The biodiesel industry views student participation as key to the future of the industry.

“Many students are already working on exciting biodiesel research that could have a lasting impact on the industry,” said Don Scott, NBB’s director of sustainability. “We believe student participation in our conference is an important investment with the potential for tremendous return in the form of information sharing and relationship building. Each year students bring something new to the table and we’re excited to see what’s in store for 2014.”

More information on the NGSB scholarship program is available at www.biodieselsustainability.com.

Biodiesel Board Celebrates Milestones

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and the fifth anniversary of its eco-friendly, green headquarters building in Jefferson City, Mo.

NBB building1NBB CEO Joe Jobe says when they started in 1993, some of the first research was done in central Missouri at the University of Missouri, funded by the Missouri Soybean Council. They expected to get NBB up and running and off to Washington, D.C., but after 15 years and making biodiesel a commercial success, they decided to stay in Jefferson City and renovated three old buildings in 2008 for their new headquarters.

“We used as many environmentally friendly materials and systems that we could,” said Jobe, including non-toxic paints, low-volatile materials, recycled carpet backings, and even solar-powered parking lot lights. “After all, we represent a green, renewable industry, and we want to live that way.”

In the last 20 years, Jobe says they’ve learned that all renewable energy producers, whether conventional or advanced like biodiesel, must stick together against Big Oil’s constant attacks, a message he drove home when talking to his colleagues at this week’s Advanced Biofuels Conference in Omaha, Neb.

“The petroleum industry has made it very clear that their number one priority is to repeal the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard),” which Jobe says is working, despite just being fully implemented in 2011. “Two years is not enough to claim, as the petroleum industry has, that the program is broken,” he said. “The program is working as Congress intended it to work.”

Jobe also points to how biodiesel is meeting benchmarks NBB set back in 2005 to have five percent of all on-road diesel be biomass-based by 2015. They met that 10-year vision just this past July, and they want to double that in the next 10 years. “It’s an aggressive goal, but it’s one that we have a lot of confidence that this industry has a very, very bright future.”

NBB now represents both biodiesel and renewable diesel – two green fuels that come from biomass-based products but are made using different processes. Biodiesel feedstocks, fats or oils, react with methanol to make biodiesel and glycerin, where renewable diesel uses that same feedstock but a distillation process similar to petroleum. Each has its own advantages, but both are much greener, domestic and renewable, than petroleum.Interview with NBB CEO Joe Jobe

EPA Indicates Biodiesel on Way to Billion Gallons

nbb-logoThe latest numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency shows 132 million gallons of biodiesel was produced in the U.S. during July. Our friends at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) say that puts year-to-date volumes at more than 768 million gallons, on pace to go over a billion gallons this year:

The production volumes are reported under the Biomass-based Diesel category under the [Renewable Fuels Standard]. To view the figures, visit the EPA’s website here. The latest numbers show a total of more than 166 million gallons of Biomass-based Diesel in July, but that total also includes production of renewable diesel. The biodiesel portion of the total was 132 million gallons.

Biodiesel has surpassed RFS targets for two consecutive years and is on pace to do so again this year.

Biodiesel Board Defends RFS in USA Today

asteckelThe National Biodiesel Board is coming to the defense of the renewable fuels standard (RFS) in a national newspaper. In USA Today’s “Your Say” opinion piece asking readers for their thoughts on the importance of biofuels, Anne Steckel, vice president, federal affairs, for NBB in Washington, D.C., made the case that the RFS has helped her industry grow from a niche fuel to a billion gallons a year, while creating jobs and choice in the marketplace:

USA TODAY’s editorial suggests renewable fuels are no longer as vital, thanks to new domestic oil discoveries. But surely your readers have noticed news stories highlighting that consumers are paying near-record prices for fuel despite record domestic oil production.

The fact is that oil is a globally traded commodity whose price is heavily influenced by geopolitical developments beyond our control.

Steckel goes on to say no matter how much oil is drilled in the U.S., drivers will continue to be held “hostage to global oil prices” unless the market is diversified, which the RFS is doing.

EPA Publishes 2013 RVOs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the final 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumetric blending requirements, or Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO). The EPA determined that based on an evaluation of the volumes of cellulosic biofuel expected to be available for 2013, the 2013 standard for cellulosic biofuel will be 6 million ethanol-equivalent gallons.

The renewable fuels industry has come out in support of the rule. Following are some brief statements from several leading biofuel organizations.

aeclogoBrooke Coleman, Executive Director, Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC): “It is clear that U.S. EPA has done its homework when it comes to setting the 2013 standard. The commercial cellulosic biofuel facilities that U.S. EPA projected to start up in 2013 are indeed operating, and the adjusted targets reflect the number of actual gallons expected to be available through the end of the year. We agree with U.S. EPA that there will be sufficient quantities of advanced biofuels in the market to maintain the broader advanced biofuel standard, which is consistent with the legislative intent of the RFS to promote advanced renewable fuels.

nbb-logoAnne Steckel, Vice President of Federal Affairs, National Biodiesel Board (NBB): “With this decision, the EPA is helping consumers, creating jobs and reducing emissions. This target will clearly be met, and it will continue to diversify our fuel supplies so that we’re not at the mercy of global oil markets every time we fill up at the pump.”

Growth_Energy_logo-1Tom Buis, CEO, Growth Energy: Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy:  “Growth Energy is pleased that the EPA has finalized the 2013 biofuel volumes and has continued to show its strong commitment to the RFS.  We look forward to closely reviewing the final rule and we strongly support increasing levels of renewable fuel into our nation’s fuel supply. The RFS continues to be a resounding success, helping create jobs in America that cannot be outsourced, revitalizing rural economies across the country in addition to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and improving our environment, all while providing consumers with a choice and savings at the pump.”

RFA-logo-13Bob Dinneen, CEO and President, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA): “First and foremost, by decreasing the cellulosic requirement by 99.4 percent to a very realistic, achievable number, the EPA has totally obliterated Big Oil’s myth that the RFS is inflexible and unworkable. As in years past, the finalized annual requirements are a testament to the inherent flexibility that is the backbone of the RFS.”

ACElogoBrian Jennings, Executive Vice President, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE): “ACE appreciates that the EPA has issued the final volumes for 2013, keeping the total volume intact and thoughtfully used the flexibility given to it by Congress to set the final cellulosic target at 6 million gallons. We think that total is realistic to reach this year. To ensure that the RFS drives sufficient demand for E15 and higher blends of ethanol, and serves as a catalyst for innovation in advanced and cellulosic biofuels, ACE will continue our constructive dialogue with EPA as it considers its flexibility to address the volumes for 2014 and beyond.”

Advanced Biofuels Association LogoMichael McAdams, President of the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA): “ABFA salutes the EPA and today’s announcement of the 2013 RVOs. We are delighted to see EPA validate the significant contributions that advanced and cellulosic biofuels are making to the American biofuels sector. Today’s announcement of 6 million gallons of cellulosic fuels should put to an end the argument that refiners are being taxed to pay for phantom fuels.  Advanced and cellulosic biofuels will continue to grow over time, giving Americans a diversity of lower carbon fuels for our future.”

NBB: Biodiesel Headed for Record Year

nbb-logoNumbers from the EPA show that biodiesel production hit record production in the first half of the year and is on pace to have its best year ever. The EPA reports that biodiesel refiners made 636 million gallons through the end of June and is on pace to break the annual record of about 1.1 billion gallons, exceeding this year’s volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and gaining praise from the National Biodiesel Board.

“This is further proof that policies like the RFS are delivering,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, the U.S. biodiesel trade association. “This growth means good-paying jobs, fewer harmful emissions and a diversified fuel market that is helping consumers.”

“Just this week, gas prices were the third highest on record, even as we’re drilling more and more oil here at home,” Steckel added. “It just shows that we need alternatives if we’re going to escape this cycle of price spikes in the oil markets. The American people understand that we need to diversify and adopt an all-of-the-above energy approach, and we need strong domestic energy policy to do that.”

On the down side, some producers are worried that Congress will allow the $1-a-gallon biodiesel tax incentive expire (again) at the end of this year, and that could push production levels down.

“The uncertainty around the tax incentive makes it very difficult to plan for growth,” [Karl Radune, president of BioDiesel One Ltd., a small producer in Southington, Conn.,] said.