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




October 1, 2018  

Letter to the President Asks for Support of Biodiesel Producers, Soy Farmers

Engage with the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference

BioFry 2018 Draws Hundreds for French Fries & Biodiesel Facts

Next Gen Scientists Selects Two New Leaders

NBB Thanks Congress Members for Tax Credit Support

NBB Celebrates 10 Years in Green Building

Minnesota is Helping to Clear the Air

 
Letter to the President Asks for Support of Biodiesel Producers, Soy Farmers

The National Biodiesel Board and the American Soybean Association wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking that he “provide additional help to the nation’s farmers and rural communities by supporting policies that expand production and use of biodiesel.” The groups asked the president to provide biodiesel room for growth under the Renewable Fuel Standard, restore lost demand for biodiesel resulting from small refinery exemptions, and back legislative extension of biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentives.

In the letter, NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen and ASA CEO Ryan Findlay state, “Biodiesel adds value to every bushel of soybeans and plays an important role by providing a market for surplus soybean oil. Today, farming income is at its lowest level in more than a decade. Even as soybean growers set production records this year, they are experiencing depressed prices and market uncertainty.”

The CEOs add that the Environmental Protection Agency “offered too little room for growth of biodiesel” in this year’s proposed rule for the RFS. While the agency acknowledged the industry’s ability to produce 2.8 billion gallons, it proposed a much lower volume. Moreover, the agency granted a flood of small refinery exemptions that reduced biodiesel demand by at least 300 million gallons – equivalent to the annual production of Iowa, the nation’s top biodiesel-producing state, they point out.

The CEOs also urge the president to back the industry’s request to Congress to provide long-term certainty for the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive. The industry needs certainty to ensure access to capital, make investments, hire and grow, the CEOs say.

Rehagen and Findlay close the letter by stating, “Your support for these policies can further grow the RFS and provide an economic boost for rural America when it is most needed.”

copy of the letter is available for download.
 

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Engage with the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference

The 2019 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo is the premier destination for anyone interested in the biodiesel industry.  This year the conference takes place January 21-24 in sunny San Diego, California. Attendees can escape the cold and experience the lively night life that the coastal city has to offer. San Diego is the perfect choice when it comes to hosting key clients, engaging new contacts, or interacting with industry leaders.

Conference attendees can attend sessions hosted by biodiesel industry leaders from around the country, with topics ranging from biodiesel markets to best business practices and everything in between.  The conference will also feature presentations from a list of exciting and impactful keynote speakers.

This year’s conference is bringing back the incredibly popular Conference Central, which will showcase Main Stage sessions, the exhibit area, and key conference functions all in one convenient location. Conference Central also brings together businesses looking to connect, and students from coast to coast presenting new and exciting research into America’s Advanced Biofuel.

To add to the convenience, this year’s conference will be located in the newly renovated Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. The Marriott’s new conference space allows attendees to have less walking and more talking, with a simpler, streamlined networking experience that is perfect for the size of the National Biodiesel Conference.

With so much to offer, there is no question that this is the biodiesel event of the year.  Online registration is now open, with more updates to schedules and speakers on the way.  Reserve a spot today and Engage with the industry.
 

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BioFry 2018 Draws Hundreds for French Fries & Biodiesel Facts

Hundreds of congressional staff members enjoyed a complimentary french fry snack while learning about the important role biodiesel is playing in diversifying our nation’s fuel supply, reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs. The National Biodiesel Board hosted its annual Capitol Hill BioFry last month to educate congressional staff about biodiesel, renewable diesel, and the U.S. companies that produce them.

“NBB was pleased to host the annual BioFry event and educate an important audience about biodiesel’s success,” explained Paul Winters, NBB’s director of public affairs and federal communications. “This unique venue provides a relaxed atmosphere for our team to mingle with congressional staff and explain how biodiesel is improving the environment, creating jobs and reducing the use of petroleum.”

NBB serves french fries to highlight one of the numerous feedstocks used to make biodiesel -- recycled cooking oil. Recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel keeps waste out of our nation’s landfills and sewers, protects the environment with cleaner air, and helps to keep America healthier.

The NBB team also reinforced the importance of strong federal policies to support continued industry growth, including increased volumes in the Renewable Fuel Standard and a renewal of the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive. Staffers were interested to learn that biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the country and supports more than 60,000 jobs all while reducing carbon emissions by up to 86 percent compared to petroleum diesel.

 

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Next Gen Scientists Selects Two New Leaders

NGSB’s newest co-chairs Paudel (left) and Gray (right).

Shyam Paudel’s interest in energy comes from deep in his childhood, growing up in the mountains of Western Nepal. Children commonly studied by the light of kerosene lamps.

“One summer, my father bought two solar panels for the house – after that, I never had to study under the dim, irritating haze of a kerosene lamp again,” Paudel said. “Even as a middle school boy, I recognized the power of this change, and my desire to end energy poverty was born.”

Paudel, a chemical engineering Ph.D. candidate at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is one of two new co-chairs selected to lead the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel.

The National Biodiesel Board program for college-level science students is intended to foster professional relationships between budding and established scientists, share accurate information and increase collaboration with academia and the biodiesel industry.

William Gray, a chemical engineering undergrad at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, will also provide student leadership for the organization. Gray’s journey with biodiesel began in the summer of 2017, with a research project that involved developing a feasible lipid extraction process for microalgae.

“I learned about the struggles holding back algae as a biodiesel feedstock,” Gray said. “We found that many issues arise due to the high cost of extracting out the lipids. Our lab’s work aimed to lower this cost, and hopefully will help bring algae back to the forefront as a practical energy source.”

Paudel and Gray join one other sitting co-chair of the organization – Jennifer Greenstein, North Carolina State University, studying plant and microbial biology. A fourth co-chair, James Brizendine, recently graduated from Missouri University of Science and Technology with a degree in environmental engineering.
 

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NBB Thanks Congress Members for Tax Credit Support

Last week, the National Biodiesel Board thanked the 46 Congressmembers – led by Rep. David Young (R-IA) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) – who voiced their strong support for a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive. The Congressmembers representing states from California to Connecticut asked for a resolution in the coming weeks in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

The letter notes that the biodiesel tax incentive was retroactively renewed for 2017 in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, passed in March this year. Unfortunately, the incentive was not extended to 2018 and is currently expired.

“Biodiesel and renewable diesel producers are putting investments on hold in the face of the uncertainty created by the off-again, on-again nature of tax incentive eligibility. A multi-year extension of the biodiesel and renewable diesel incentives will provide the industry the certainty it needs to continue to generate the economic and environmental public benefits,” the Congressmembers state in the letter.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs, added, “Right now, soybean farmers are harvesting a record crop but facing extreme uncertainty about the price they’ll receive and whether they’ll have access to markets. Biodiesel adds value to every bushel of soybeans and provides a market for the growing surplus of soy oil. A multiyear extension of the biodiesel tax incentive would give farmers a welcome bit of certainty this year.

“It would further provide biodiesel producers, blenders and retailers the opportunity to plan and expand the market for biodiesel, which would benefit truck drivers, consumers and others all along the value chain. NBB appreciates the leadership of Representatives Young and Loebsack and the support of the bipartisan group of Representatives from across the country that co-signed the letter.”
 

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NBB Celebrates 10 Years in Green Building


CEO Donnell Rehagen cuts the ribbon
at the NBB headquarters.

Ten years ago, the National Biodiesel Board moved into their Jefferson City, MO headquarters; a building renovated to accommodate the association with a singular goal of being sustainable and energy efficient to reflect the values of biodiesel. NBB commemorated the decade of growth and milestones with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony.

“The National Biodiesel Board was started here in Jefferson City 25 years ago,” said Chief Executive Officer Donnell Rehagen. “This building has served NBB for the last ten years, allowing us to grow our industry across the nation.”

In 2008, NBB moved into their home in Jefferson City after remodeling a previously vacant building on the East side of town. NBB wanted to follow biodiesel’s lead with clean, green energy, so the office enacted sustainable aspects such as energy efficient indoor lighting, recycled carpet, and solar powered outdoor lights. Since moving into their celebrated space, the biodiesel industry has made significant strides and continues to see progress each year.

NBB also celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. These two milestone events highlight the phenomenal growth of the biodiesel industry.

“NBB has come a long way since our humble beginnings, but you can still find us here in the heart of Missouri,” Rehagen added. “The staff within these walls continue to strive for excellence, growth, and promotion of a quality, sustainable fuel.”
 

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Minnesota is Helping to Clear the Air

Soybean farmers in Minnesota wear many different hats: small-business owner, agronomist, equipment expert, accountant and environmentalist. They have also been at the forefront of developing a domestic renewable fuel that has resulted in a dramatic improvement of the air quality in the Gopher state.

In 2002, Minnesota became the first state to require that all diesel fuel sold here contain at least 2 percent blend of biodiesel. In the summer of 2018, Minnesota was the first to move to B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

According to the American Lung Association of Minnesota (ALAMN), during the 10-year period with biodiesel as a fuel standard for Minnesota, a reduction of more than 7.4 billion pounds of carbon dioxide has already been realized. ALAMN estimates that is comparable to removing the emissions from 706,649 passenger vehicles or 17,998 railcars of coal.

Biodiesel offers Minnesotans more than just health benefits. According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the biodiesel industry contributes $1.7 billion annually in the state, while supporting 5,397 jobs. These are often hard-hit areas where employment options are few.

"Biodiesel is another step in increasing the diversity of our energy needs," says Tom Slunecka, CEO, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. "Minnesota soybean farmers are proud to be leaders in growing that diversity."

The benefits of biodiesel are considerable, not just for Minnesota, but for the country as a whole.

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