National Biodiesel Day Gives
Communities Something to Celebrate
The biodiesel industry
celebrated the annual National Biodiesel Day on March 18 in honor of Rudolf Diesel,
the inventor of the engine that bears his name. Even during the late 1800s, Diesel
was a firm believer in vegetable-based fuel and even designed his engine to run on peanut oil.
use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such
oils may become over the course of time as important as petroleum and the coal
tar products of the present time,” remarked Diesel.
Diesel may have had
a peek into the future, as the industry today is experiencing record levels of
biodiesel production that is rapidly improving the environmental impact of fuels
and the nation’s economic outlook.
To honor Rudolf Diesel and his impact,
National Biodiesel Day was created on his birthday. Soybean and biodiesel associations
this year by showing what the biodiesel industry has become, and who has been
affected by Diesel’s legacy.
“For National Biodiesel Day, we’re highlighting the
people who make this industry great. American biodiesel has infused jobs and prosperity
in communities throughout the nation,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel
Board CEO. “Rudolph Diesel would be proud.”
here to watch NBB’s National Biodiesel Day video!
RFS Volumes Back
on Track After Procedural Delay
With a procedural delay to EPA regulations in the rearview mirror, the
Renewable Fuel Standard remains on track to drive advanced biofuels like biodiesel
into the marketplace in 2017 and beyond.
“The real winners are American
consumers who are guaranteed to have access to even more cleaner burning, advanced
biofuel,” said National Biodiesel Board VP of Federal Affairs, Anne Steckel.
“These benefits extend far beyond the biodiesel industry, supporting high paying
jobs and clean air across the nation. While these volumes were finalized late
last year, getting past the temporary delay sends positive signals to the marketplace.”
EPA finalized the 2017 RFS and 2018 biomass-based diesel volume in December of
2016, the new Administration had temporarily delayed the effective date of certain
actions taken by President Obama’s administration until March 21. This included
the 2017 RFS, which originally had an effective date of February 10th.
RFS – a bipartisan policy passed in 2005 and signed into law by President George
W. Bush – requires increasing volumes of renewable fuels to be blended into
the U.S. fuel stream. The law is divided into two broad categories: Conventional
Biofuels, which must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent, and
Advanced Biofuels, which must have a 50 percent reduction. Biodiesel is the first
Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and has made
up the vast majority of Advanced Biofuel production under the RFS to date.
Industry Efforts on the Hill to
Propel U.S. Jobs
Industry leaders once again met with key influencers in Washington,
DC to discuss important changes to the biodiesel tax incentive. Their goal is
to reinstate this important policy and to move away from the current “blenders”
structure of the credit that includes non-domestic biodiesel, and reform it as
a “producers” credit. The reformed incentive would support biodiesel that
is produced exclusively in the U.S., supporting 81,600 domestic jobs and adding
$14.7 billion in total U.S. economic benefit.
“These aren’t just jobs; they’re
great jobs. But American biodiesel will not reach its full potential under the
current regulatory framework,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board
CEO. “Changes that ensure American tax dollars and American programs support
American production are just common sense.”
Additionally, industry leaders are
pushing for further growth in the Renewable Fuel Standard volumes. Currently,
domestic biodiesel producers have 1.5 billion gallons of unused production capacity
that stands open and ready to be used.
“It’s simple. Biodiesel can continue
to grow American jobs and prosperity in communities throughout the nation,”
said Rehagen. “Our members are making real investments and significant impacts
across America, and they want to do more.”
NBB is running a grassroots campaign
for all biodiesel supporters to let their voices be heard by letting the decision-makers
in Washington know that changes to the tax credit, and increased volumes for the
RFS are important. A letter can be sent direct to Congress in a few easy steps here.
Biodiesel Industry Continues Growth Despite Challenges
Last year the United States used almost 2.9 billion gallons of biodiesel
and renewable diesel leading to many companies expanding their operations. These
companies are responding to the fact that despite uncertainty in Washington, Americans
are using more biodiesel than ever.
The state of Iowa is known for its
commitment to renewable fuels and favorable state policies designed to drive growth
of cleaner fuels production. That commitment is once again paying off with three
separate companies expanding their biodiesel production capacity. Western Iowa
Energy is expanding from 30 million gallons per year to 45 mgy, Renewable Energy
Group is expanding their Ralston facility from 12 mgy to 30 mgy, and Ag Processing
Inc. is doubling the capacity of their plant from 30 mgy to 60 mgy.
expansion reflects our commitment to the biodiesel industry and soybean farmers
as we continue to invest in this important value-added market," said AGP CEO Keith Spackler.
are not limited to just Iowa however, as companies such as Diamond Green Diesel
in Louisiana and New Leaf Biofuel in California ramp up production as well.
started in 2006 with hopes of getting to 500,000 gallons a year,” said Jennifer
Case, president of New Leaf Biofuel. “Expanding to 12 million gallons a year
is a number that I would never have dreamt of.”
From coast to coast
biodiesel continues to grow and expand. This growth is providing thousands of
jobs, enormous economic impact, and is helping to fuel America’s future.
Provides Great Career for Former Student Scientist
Throughout the country, everyday citizens are working in great careers
all thanks to America’s Advanced Biofuel. In fact, the biodiesel industry currently
provides 64,000 jobs to the US alone.
Mike Morgan is a plant chemist who
works in one of those biodiesel careers. Morgan heads special projects, testing
method development, and validation in the laboratory at Louis Dreyfus Company,
one of the largest fully integrated soybean processing and biodiesel plants in
the US. The annual capacity for LDC’s biodiesel production is 110 million gallons per year.
first became passionate about biodiesel while in college at Utah State University,
serving as co-chair of the National Biodiesel Board’s Next Generation Scientists
for Biodiesel program. He also used biodiesel that he made at USU to set record
speeds on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Experience from NGSB and passion
for the industry have allowed Mike Morgan to be just one example of the many jobs
that the biodiesel industry supports.
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.
Minnesota Celebrates 15 Years with Biodiesel
“It’s really encouraging to see the governor and the state of Minnesota recognizing
the value and benefits of biodiesel,” said Theresia Gillie, President of the
Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. “Biodiesel has been a big winner for Minnesota farmers
and renewable fuels, and we’re honored to receive this proclamation.”
was a special day created last month in Minnesota to honor the 15th
anniversary of the state’s biodiesel mandate. Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed
March 15 Biodiesel Day in Minnesota. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association
and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council hosted an open house
at their offices to celebrate the milestone achievement.
been at the forefront of the biodiesel movement, and we hope to continue to lead
the way into the future,” said Jim Willers, a Minnesota Soybean Research &
Promotion Council director. “Biodiesel has been a real boon to our economy,
and proven to improve the environment.”
A two percent blend of biodiesel
was included in all Minnesota diesel fuel beginning in 2002, and the percentage
has grown to 20 percent by summer of 2018. Biodiesel adds an estimated 63 cents
per bushel of additional value to soybeans, and contributes more than $200 million
to Minnesota’s economy annually. It also has reduced carbon dioxide emissions
by more than 7.4 billion pounds in the state.
Local Biodiesel Makes Everything Greener
Biodiesel is making an impact from coast to coast as people continue to
see the benefits of the clean, renewable fuel with some of the greatest impacts felt in local communities.
New Hampshire Department of Transportation has begun using locally sourced biodiesel
as heating oil for one of their facilities. The fuel comes from White Mountain
Biodiesel, a local producer providing biodiesel that is renewable, cleaner burning,
less polluting, and less expensive than No. 2 heating oil.
burns warmer and heats better,” said state highway maintenance engineer Caleb
Dobbins. “If we can go towards this with less reliance on conventional heating
oil, then this is a fantastic way to do it.”
Other places are learning the value
of local biodiesel as well. The town of Plainfield,
Vermont is working with Vermont Clean Cities to gather used cooking oil from
local restaurants and turn it into biodiesel. The University
of Idaho is using biodiesel to power trucks and front-end loaders, which help
to make more renewable fuels. These groups count on biodiesel to help get the job done.
all of these local impacts, it is clear that America is becoming more green with
cleaner burning, renewable biodiesel.