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

May 1, 2018  

Minnesota Reshapes Energy Landscape with Shift to B20

RFS Waivers Damage Industry Integrity, Create Uncertainty

Biodiesel Innovator Recognized for Success

NBB Trade Case Levels the Playing Field

Next Generation Scientists fo Biodiesel Seeks New Student Leaders

Clif Bar Shares Sustainable Model

In Arizona, Biodiesel is HOT, HOT, HOT!

Earth Day Celebrations Focus on Reduced Emissions

Minnesota Reshapes Energy Landscape with Shift to B20

Minnesota has made history again, becoming the first state to transform virtually all of the diesel supply for sale to B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

“We often refer to Minnesota as a ‘trailblazer,’ but somehow that just doesn’t seem adequate anymore,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “Upgrading virtually an entire state’s diesel to contain 20 percent biodiesel represents a seismic shift in our country’s liquid energy supply. It shows that Americans have a choice to change our fuel identity to include much more renewable, economically powerful, clean energy – just like the power industry has diversified with solar and wind.”   

The transition to B20 happened gradually, from the first statewide requirement of 2 percent biodiesel (B2) implemented in 2005, to B5 four years later, and B10 since 2014. This helped ensure sufficient blending infrastructure and education statewide.

The decision to continue increasing blend levels was easy for Minnesota, as they’ve seen immense success reducing harmful emissions during the 10-year period with biodiesel as a fuel standard. According to the American Lung Association of Minnesota, a reduction of more than 7.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide has already been realized. Farmers, public transportation systems, fleet operators, school bus fleets, commercial carriers and private users have successfully used B20 across the country for decades.

“Biodiesel supporters everywhere congratulate and thank the Minnesota leaders willing to stand up for this policy, and in particular, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association for their incredible leadership,” Rehagen said. “This success may look easy, but those farmers, producers, soybean staff and legislators who fought for this effort have a few scars from early challenges. May 1 is a triumphant date for all of us, thanks to their bravery and tenacity.”



RFS Waivers Damage Industry Integrity, Create Uncertainty

The National Biodiesel Board has been proactive to defend a strong Renewable Fuel Standard and fight against the Environmental Protection Agency's recent misguided actions.

The EPA has granted exemptions to several refineries for the 2016 and 2017 compliance years, including one of the nation’s largest. EPA has apparently granted Andeavor a hardship waiver for its three smallest refineries, while their profits last year were approximately $1.5 billion dollars. At least two other refineries with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profits appear to have also been granted exemptions.  

In partnership with the American Soybean Association and the National Renderers Association, NBB sent a letter to the President asking him to keep his promise to rural voters. NBB is not alone, as Congress has also weighed in with the Administration. A bipartisan group of 13 Senators wrote EPA Administrator Pruitt urging him to cease issuing hardship waivers.

“Granting secretive ‘hardship’ waivers to some of the nation’s most profitable petroleum giants undermines the law and destroys demand for homegrown biofuels,” said NBB’s Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs. “We applaud the efforts of the Senators to shed light on EPA’s actions.”

Former Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Jim Talent (R-MO), who played key roles in developing the RFS, also joined in, calling for Congress to investigate the EPA's recent waivers to major refiners and failure to follow the law.

“Lawmakers from across the heartland have already demanded the EPA stop abusing these waivers, but Congress can and should do more. The public deserves real answers from Administrator Pruitt about handouts granted under cover of night,” said the two Senators.

“Who better to help clarify the intent of these small refinery exemptions than those who helped write the law in the first place? It is no surprise that they stand against the actions of the EPA,” said Kovarik. “We will continue our push to return transparency and certainty to the marketplace.”



Biodiesel Innovator Recognized for Success

The biodiesel industry is filled with a long list of amazing professionals who deserve recognition in their field. One such individual, Dr. Bob McCormick of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), was recently recognized as a Senior Research Fellow at NREL.

“To say that Dr. McCormick’s research ability and contributions for biodiesel are exceptional is an understatement,” said National Biodiesel Board Senior Technical Advisor Steve Howell. “Dr. McCormick has been directly involved with most of the major technical efforts with biodiesel research and development over the last decade.”

Dr. McCormick has played an immeasurable role in helping the biodiesel industry develop robust ASTM specifications, grow the OEM support for B20, and advance the commercial success of a nearly 3-billion-gallon industry. He and his team are responsible for early demonstration projects comparing B20 and petrodiesel, emissions quantifications, fuel quality surveys, stability data, and more. His efforts have not gone unnoticed as he is now one of only a handful of recipients of this honorary position within one of the nation’s leading laboratories.

NBB awarded Dr. McCormick the Eye on Biodiesel Award for Innovation earlier in his career for work in the biodiesel industry. As a Senior Research Fellow, McCormick has become a mentor to other scientists and researchers who have also won awards and continue to advance the research and development of NBB.

“Dr. McCormick’s forward thinking, ingenuity, innovation, and creativity are all examples of why he deserves this prestige,” said NBB Technical Director Scott Fenwick. “The biodiesel industry would not be where it is today without his work, and NBB is proud to be a partner and friend to researchers like Dr. McCormick.”


NBB Trade Case Levels the Playing Field

Last month, the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4-0 in favor of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition’s position that the industry has suffered because of unfairly dumped imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. This affirmative vote on injury was the last remaining procedural hurdle in the case.

“This vote finalizes the case to address the harm that unfair trade practices have had on the U.S. biodiesel industry,” said Donnell Rehagen, chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board. “Foreign producers dumping product into American markets below cost has undermined the jobs and environmental benefits that U.S. biodiesel brings to the table. Establishing a level playing field for true competition in the market will allow the domestic industry the opportunity to put to work substantial under-utilized production capacity.” 

The NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed this antidumping petition in parallel to a countervailing duty petition to address a flood of subsidized and dumped imports from Argentina and Indonesia that resulted in market share losses and depressed prices for domestic producers. Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464 percent from 2014 to 2016, taking 18.3 percentage points of market share from U.S. manufacturers. These surging, artificially low-priced imports prevented producers from earning adequate returns on their substantial investments and stifled the ability of U.S. producers to make further investments to serve a growing market.

With the help of the trade case, American biodiesel producers can compete in a more even marketplace without the fear of unfairly dumped imports taking away their business.


Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel Seeks New Student Leaders

Deval presenting his research at the 2013 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

The National Biodiesel Board’s Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program is celebrating the achievements of alumni as it looks for new student leaders. 

A former NGSB co-chair, Deval Pandya, has been invited to join the ranks of the prestigious World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders program. Pandya, currently a Data Scientist in Advanced Analytics at Shell, will participate in the program designed to help shape, inspire and grow the energy leaders of tomorrow.

“My exposure through the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel not only improved my technical understanding of biodiesel, but opened my eyes as to how important it is to look beyond the goggles of science in the nexus of energy, food and water,” Pandya said. “Having an outlook balanced by the non-technical part of the equation, like behaviors, policy and geopolitics, has set me up for success.”

Pandya served as a co-chair of NGSB from 2011 - 2013, while pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. He attended the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo three times as a student, as well as other events like the Biodiesel Technical Workshop, featuring top biodiesel scientists from around the world.

NBB invites student members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel to begin a new journey as energy thought leaders. The organization seeks two new co-chairs to join sitting co-chairs in helping take this student professional organization to the next level. This is a volunteer position with many benefits that could last a lifetime, including making connections with some of the nation’s top biofuels scientists. The deadline to apply is May 4, 2018.

Visit the website for information on how to apply. 



Clif Bar Shares Sustainable Model

At Clif Bar, sustainability isn’t just a goal to strive for, it is a way of life that the company shares with all. Clif Bar lives out its motto of “Think like a tree” through a multitude of sustainable practices, including using biodiesel.

Since 2014, Clif Bar has tried to encourage the use of renewable energy and no-waste operations down its supply chain, recognizing that its footprint on the Earth is much wider than what it does in its own facilities. Through these efforts, Clif Bar has seen success with supplier States Logistics going green.

“Usually you don’t think about a logistics partner as a leader in green business,” said Elysa Hammond, vice president of environmental steward ship at Clif Bar. “But that is the case for States Logistics.”

States Logistics, a third-party provider of warehousing, packaging, transportation and distribution has adopted a program of 100-percent renewable energy after seeing Clif Bar’s success. Using biodiesel in its fleets, reducing electricity lighting, and more has made a huge impact on States Logistics’ business.

"Sustainability is a priority at States Logistics, and clean energy is a cornerstone of our efforts,” said CEO Daniel Monson. “We understand that clean energy is not just good for the environment, but it’s also good for our bottom line.”

States Logistics green policies have even increased business, bringing in new customers that, like Clif Bar, desired to go green along their entire supply chain.

Clif Bar has shown that sustainability does not have an end point. With the help of clean burning biodiesel, the company is dedicated to spreading sustainable practices throughout its supply chain, and throughout the world.




In Arizona, Biodiesel is HOT, HOT, HOT!

Watch a MotorWeek story on how a utility company in Phoenix powers its vehicles with biodiesel.

For most of the country, the temperature is just beginning to rise, but Arizona is already hot…and so is their biodiesel scene! That’s thanks in large part to the state’s two Clean Cities coalitions in Phoenix and Tucson.

In the Phoenix area, the Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition reports cities and utilities are the main users of biodiesel, with some 5,000 vehicles going through 7 million gallons of B20 per year. The City of Phoenix alone uses 2.3 million gallons of B20 a year. An "at the rack" blender services many of the users as well as truck stops in the area. VSCCC returned from last year’s National Clean Cities Workshop as number one in total biodiesel usage and number one in per-capita usage of biodiesel!

Meanwhile, Tucson Clean Cities recently held its 13th annual Grease Recycle Day, collecting more than 1,000 gallons of used cooking oil, a record! The collected grease is processed and then turned into clean, renewable biodiesel. Since the program began in 2005, it has collected over 37,700 pounds of grease. The program has been so successful that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and even the Mexican Government have reached out to see how they could enact similar programs.

All the biodiesel produced from the event is used locally by the City of Tucson; the local transit agency, Sun Tran; the University of Arizona; Raytheon Missile Systems; and Tucson Electric Power, the entity charged with keeping local air conditioners humming.

Phoenix and Tucson Clean Cities are just two of the successful programs that use biodiesel to support a cleaner, more sustainable environment. Visit the website to find your nearest Clean Cities Coalition to see other success stories in your area.




Earth Day Celebrations Focus on Reduced Emissions

The world joined together on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day and to find ways to help preserve the planet. First celebrated in 1970 and based on the concept of world peace, Earth Day has grown into an annual celebration with events held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

New York City is one of many across the country who celebrated Earth Day, this year by hosting a Car Free Day. Several major streets around the city and downtown area were closed to traffic, encouraging people to use public transportation, bikes, or walk, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The city also runs its public busses and thousands of city fleet vehicles year-round on cleaner burning biodiesel to reduce emissions and help protect the environment.

Biodiesel is already doing its part to help across the country. In fact, biodiesel reduces carbon emissions in America by 25 million metric tons annually, the equivalent of preserving 29 million acres of mature forests. That is nearly 80 percent less lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum diesel.

In addition to reducing emissions, biodiesel also helps the nation’s food supply. One gallon of biodiesel cannot be produced without co-producing 30lbs of protein and 22lbs of carbohydrates and dietary fiber to help sustain healthy populations. More biodiesel simply means more food for American consumers.

The earth is something that needs to be preserved for future generations, and biodiesel is doing its part to help.




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