Fueling Biodiesel's Future
at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo
NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen presents
the State of the Industry
Address at the
National Biodiesel Conference & Expo
the streets of New York City to the surf of the California Coast, big things are
happening to fuel biodiesel’s future. So it’s no surprise enthusiasts of America’s
Advanced Biofuel were excited to converge last month in San Diego at the industry’s
largest gathering of producers, distributors and fans.
Throughout the week,
attendees had an opportunity to learn more about the exciting developments for
the biodiesel industry that have occurred in the past year. Sessions featured
presentations from industry leaders such as NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen and NBB
Chairman Kent Engelbrecht, and a
keynote speech from former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss.
conference also featured an expo hall with exhibitors, student research posters,
and a Biodiesel
Vehicle Showcase with presentations from
major OEMs such as GM, Ford, Nissan, and John Deere.
Much of the discussion
during the week centered on what the new Congress and Administration will mean
for the biodiesel industry in general and the Renewable Fuel Standard specifically.
This was the subject of one of the Spotlight
Sessions featuring leading experts from Washington.
To see pictures from
the conference and listen to presentations, be sure to check out the
conference blog. To watch NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen and NBB Chairman Kent Engelbrecht
deliver the state of the industry address head over to the NBB YouTube page.
Industry Growth Sets New Records
The biodiesel industry smashed records this year as US consumers saw almost
2.9 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in 2016, outpacing the previous
record by almost 40 percent. Also for the first time ever, the monthly market
topped 300 million gallons, with December’s numbers coming in at 362 million gallons.
market realities spotlight two important points,” says National Biodiesel Board
CEO Donnell Rehagen. “First the RFS is working to deliver energy choices to
consumers and promote local economic activity. Second that reforming the biodiesel
tax incentive as a domestic production credit remains critical to grow these programs
in America’s best interest.”
According to a study
conducted by LMC International, a 2.9 billion gallon biodiesel and renewable
diesel market divided between domestic and foreign supply supports about 64,000
US jobs and $11.42 billion in total impact. Economic benefits increase substantially
with growing domestic production, rather than imports. For example, just 2.5 billion
gallons of domestic production would support at least 81,600 US jobs and $14.7
billion in total economic benefit.
“It’s just common sense that
our tax dollars should benefit American jobs and local companies instead of incentivizing imports,” Rehagen said.
biomass-based diesel category under the RFS alone saw a record 2.6 billion gallon
market, allowing the advanced biofuel program to reach over 4 billion ethanol-equivalent
gallons. These numbers exceeded EPA’s estimates for 2016, and track NBB’s
projections, showing the industry can deliver on the goals set by Congress.
Automakers Fuel the US Market
with More Biodiesel Capable Vehicles
U.S. auto manufacturers have introduced a record number of new
biodiesel capable diesel vehicle options for consumers as the push for increased
fuel efficiency, performance, and sustainability in America’s transportation sector grows.
is a renewable, domestically produced fueling option that amplifies the already
substantial benefits of new technology diesel vehicles,” said Steve Howell,
Senior Technical Advisor for the National Biodiesel Board. “NBB and the U.S.
biodiesel industry remain committed to working closely with our partners in the
auto and engine manufacturing community to ensure that the high-quality biodiesel
fuel of today and tomorrow will continue to provide OEMs, fleets, and consumers
with a reliable, fit-for-purpose fuel that keeps pace with the nation’s increasing
demands for cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable modes of transportation.”
automakers’ new 2017 diesel models were recently featured at the San Diego Convention
Center as part of the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. The
Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase event was presented by NBB and General Motors Fleet. Vehicles
included in the showcase were the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado HD from General
Motors, the 2017 F-250 Super Duty from Ford, the 2017 Nissan Titan XD from
Nissan, and the John
Deere 5045E which is the best-selling utility tractor in the San Diego area.
from coast to coast have used B20 successfully in virtually every make and model
diesel engine, and the vast majority of new diesel engines now have full OEM support
for B20 with no vehicle modifications required. Follow the link to the conference
blog to see pictures of the Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase and to listen in on
presentations from each of the OEM’s.
Industry Honors Year of Achievements, Industry Growth
|Donnell Rehagen and Kent Engelbrecht present
the Climate Leader Award to NY Councilman Constantinides |
This year’s “Eye on Biodiesel” awards highlight those who
have had a major impact on the use of biodiesel. Clean air champions, policy drivers,
fleet vehicle influencers, and lifetime biodiesel advocates were all honored last
month during the National Biodiesel Conference and Expo.
“We are proud to
recognize these individuals and organizations for going above and beyond to advance
this industry that benefits American consumers so much,” said Kent Engelbrecht,
chairman of the National Biodiesel Board.
Leader Award – Costa Constantinides – New York City Council Member
In September, the New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to pass
INT. 642-A, led by Council Member Costa Constantinides, that creates a fuel standard
for heating oil that includes increasing amounts of biodiesel from the current
two percent level to five percent by October 1, 2017, and eventually to twenty percent in 2034.
Energy Leadership Award – Gov. Terry Branstad
Governor Branstad rallied support for, and signed legislation, that extended the
Biodiesel Production Credit through 2024, extended and expanded the Biodiesel
Promotion Retail Tax Credit, also through 2024, and secured another year of funding
for the state’s successful biodiesel and ethanol blender pump program, the Renewable
Fuels Infrastructure Program.
Partnership Award – The Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff
Program and the American Lung Association in Illinois for the B20 Club
Together, the two organizations have created a unique and impactful program
in Illinois called the B20 Club. The efforts of the club have provided confidence
in biodiesel and a platform for showcasing successful biodiesel user stories in
the media, to decision makers, and the general public.
Award – Ron Flowers – Greater Washington, DC Clean Cities
“Ron” Flowers is the Executive Director of the Greater Washington, D.C. Region
Clean Cities Coalition, with more than 45 years of service in the public and private
sector. His knowledge of fuels and fleets was instrumental in transforming the
nation’s capital region from a community of biodiesel naysayers to biodiesel believers.
Conference Closes with Promises of Clean Air, Domestic Jobs, and Lower Carbon Emissions
|From Left to Right: Don O'Connor,
Simon Mui, Jana Gastellum, and Keith Kerman |
closing session of the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo provided an opportunity
to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year while also taking a peek at
how America’s Advanced Biofuel will fuel
the country’s future in 2017 and beyond.
Led by Don O’Connor, a Vancouver-based
international expert on greenhouse-gas emissions, the
assembled panel detailed efforts that spanned from municipal victories to
boost biodiesel use to the Paris Climate Agreement that aims to significantly
reduce global carbon emissions.
Simon Mui, Director of California’s Fuels, Energy and
Transportation Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised the
enactment of the state’s latest climate change law that expands on its landmark
2006 legislation which set the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
followed California’s lead in 2016 by enacting its own Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
Jana Gastellum, Program Director of Climate at the Oregon Environmental Council,
said the state seeks to reduce the average carbon intensity of Oregon’s transportation
fuels by 10 percent over a 10-year period with biodiesel playing a leading role in the state’s efforts.
attendees also heard from Keith Kerman, Deputy Commissioner and chief fleet officer
for New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Kerman
discussed how the city’s entire diesel fleet – the largest municipal fleet
in the country – has converted to B20. Additionally, New York City continued
to demonstrate its confidence in the benefits of biodiesel by enacting legislation
that will incrementally increase the amount of biodiesel that displaces petroleum in heating oil.
these types of local and state efforts, combined with a strong federal Renewable
Fuel Standard, we’re on our way to creating 80,000 U.S. jobs that would pay
$3.2 billion in wages and create $15 billion in economic activity,” said Don
Scott, NBB Director of Sustainability. “And we’re making the air we breathe
healthier along the way.”
Motors Announces 20 for B20
|John Schwegman of GM showcases the |
new 2017 Chevy Silverado during
the Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase
General Motors is providing more options than ever before for
customers to reap the benefits of fueling up with B20 biodiesel. With eight new
diesel vehicle options hitting the roadways in 2017 – 2018, GM now offers a
full line-up of twenty different diesel models, from passenger cars, to pickups
and SUVs, to commercial vans and low cab forward trucks - all of which are approved for use with B20.
Schwegman, Director of Commercial Product and Medium Duty Product for General
the welcome news to an enthusiastic crowd at the National Biodiesel Conference
& Expo last month in San Diego.
“Diesel propulsion deserves wider
consideration by fleet managers across the country,” Schwegman said. “With
biodiesel production and retail distribution expanding, and so many proven benefits,
we believe more fleets will embrace the technology as part of their sustainability
plans. If our diesel customers fueled exclusively with biodiesel, we estimate
that consumption of petroleum-based fuels would be reduced by hundreds of million gallons annually.”
announcement, along with additional new
diesel model introductions this year, sends a strong signal that diesel remains
an important option for meeting the current and future needs of U.S. drivers.
Including 2017 and 2018 models, Chevrolet and GMC will offer one of the largest
portfolios of vehicles capable of running on B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel
and 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel.
Schwegman also presented at a
breakout session during the conference, discussing the road ahead and how
OEMs and fleets are cutting carbon with biodiesel. Read the National Biodiesel
full release on the announcement here and be sure to check out the
conference blog to see pictures and listen to the all the latest news from San Diego.
Generation Scientists for Biodiesel are Causing an Effect
The 2017 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo brought in hundreds of
attendees from across the nation, including a unique group of college students.
Fourteen young scientists joined the conference in San Diego as part of the National
Biodiesel Board’s Next
Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program.
During the conference the NGSB students
were able to present their work and research at poster sessions in the expo hall,
and six of them presented their projects in a breakout session entitled, “Cause
an Effect.” To listen to their session and hear all about their research, as
well as see pictures of the students and their posters, be sure to visit the conference blog.
students were selected from a large group of applicants, and were presented with
scholarships to attend the conference funded by the United
Soybean Board, NBB, and the National
Biodiesel Foundation. Students traveled from universities including the University
of Nevada – Reno, Kansas State University, Clemson University, Southern Illinois
University Carbondale, and more.
Managed by the National
Biodiesel Board, the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel is a free student
professional organization to help foster collaboration, networking, and career
development for college students. The NGSB program is always looking for
bright young minds interested in sustainability and biodiesel. For more information
and to join please visit the website.