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




September 1, 2017  
NBB Calls for Higher Biodiesel Volumes in the RFS

Minnesota Makes History...Again!

Back to School with Biodiesel

Biodiesel Puts America First

NBB Fair Trade Coalition Succeeds in Latest Stage of Biodiesel Import Case

Bacon Grease and Used Tires Make Biodiesel

How Much is 64,000 Jobs?

 
NBB calls for Higher Biodiesel Volumes in the RFS

NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen presents his testimony
at the EPA public hearing. 

The National Biodiesel Board has spent the last month diligently fighting for higher volumes in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Through a public hearing, official comments, and increased advocacy efforts, NBB strove to share biodiesel’s benefits to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

NBB supports increases in the volume requirements, believing the EPA must be more aggressive in meeting Congress’s goals to prioritize and move this country toward advanced biofuels. This would create jobs, improve the economy, and benefit public health and the environment throughout the country.

Earlier this month, the National Biodiesel Board had a group of roughly 20 witnesses testify at a public hearing before EPA staff. The speakers advocated for higher volumes of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel as the EPA considers changes in the latest RFS proposal.

Bob Morton, a biodiesel producer from Rhode Island, testified that lower volumes both miss the opportunity to help meet the objectives of the RFS and perpetuate the difficult business climate in which small producers must operate. Grant Kimberley, a sixth-generation farmer, highlighted that biodiesel lowers the price of meal for livestock producers and the food supply, makes farming more profitable, and revitalizes many rural areas of the country. Scott Fenwick, the NBB technical director, noted that consumers are choosing biodiesel because of the lower costs at the pump, because it provides better lubricity than petroleum diesel, and because of the air quality benefits for their communities.

In addition to the public hearing, NBB increased advocacy by calling on members and supporters to write letters to EPA officials, urging them to consider higher volumes. The official comment period closed August 31, with the final volume decisions to be made in November.

NBB will continue to work with the EPA, striving to receive higher volumes which will spread biodiesel’s benefits across the country.

 

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 Minnesota Makes History...Again!

MN Ag Commissioner Dave Fredrickson announces
MN's move to B20.

At Farmfest in late July, Minnesota’s state commissioners delivered a long-awaited announcement. Beginning in May of 2018, biodiesel requirements at the pump will raise from the current B10 standard to B20. This increase means more biodiesel being used throughout the state, which provides great economic impacts and cleaner air for Minnesotans.

“Minnesota has been a visionary leader on biodiesel policy for 15 years starting with passage of the first state wide biodiesel requirement,” said Shelby Neal, director of state governmental affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “Over the years, that standard has moved from 2 to 10 percent, and soon to 20 percent. Minnesota is where biodiesel policy is headed and we’re really excited about that future.”

Soybeans are one of Minnesota’s biggest crops, and thereby provide a large supply of soybean oil for the state’s biodiesel production. Minnesota currently houses three biodiesel plants that produce 74 million gallons of biodiesel per year, contributing at least $1.7 billion to the state economy. The nation’s largest biodiesel producer, Renewable Energy Group, operates a 30 MMgy biodiesel refinery in Albert Lea, MN and is ready to help meet an increased demand.

“Minnesota has been a leader in proving the benefits of higher biodiesel blends and this is another pioneering step toward cleaner air, energy security and value-added agriculture,” said Gary Haer, REG’s vice president of sales and marketing.

“This is a great move forward for biodiesel and Minnesota,” added Neal. “It’s good for the environment as B20 use will remove the emissions equivalent to taking 202,000 cars from Minnesota roads, boost the rural economy with good paying jobs, and add to agriculture producers’ bottom line.”

 

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Back to School with Biodiesel

Josiah Butler shows off his work at the
Southern Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair

As summer ends, students of all ages return to the classroom for another school year. Though some are reluctant to leave sunny days behind, many of the nation’s youth are diving into a new year with a dream to change the world.

Josiah Butler from Mankato, Minnesota is only ten years old but is already a biodiesel evangelist. Growing up in a family of environmental scientists, Butler knew from a young age that he would carry on the tradition.

Last year, Josiah learned about the problems with conventional petroleum diesel and how producing fuel from a renewable resource is a better option.

“After I heard about the biodiesel issue and how popular soybean crops are, I wanted to try to make a biodiesel fuel,” Butler said.

Using the Southern Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair as motivation, Butler spent several months researching for an experiment he titled “Synthesizing Biodiesel from Common Cooking Oils.” He was on a mission to prove that biodiesel created from vegetable oils would produce cleaner energy than petroleum.

With some help from his family, Josiah created and tested biodiesel samples made from soybean, corn, and canola. In the end, his experiment landed first place in his science fair.

“He had some help, but it’s not like a parent did this for him,” said Josiah’s science teacher, Kelly Bielke. “Josiah’s a great kid and was quite on top of it. He works really hard, and always has a book in his hand.”

Believing that biodiesel has a bright future in renewable fuels, Butler hopes that the industry pushes through B20 all the way to pure B100 biodiesel.

“It’s already becoming more popular—pretty soon I think that’s all people will use.”

If there are more youngsters like Josiah out there, he just might be right.

 

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Biodiesel Puts America First

As America celebrates the contributions of America’s workers this Labor Day, the biodiesel industry continues to demonstrate American values and create huge economic impacts in the nation. When Labor Day became a federal holiday more than 120 years ago, the American workforce looked quite a bit different than it does today. Many jobs -- such as those in the biodiesel industry -- did not yet exist. Today, the U.S. biodiesel industry is supporting more than 64,000 domestic, green energy jobs and powering fleets across the country.

“As we observe Labor Day and pay tribute to the contributions of America workers, it is important to recognize the economic impact of American-made biodiesel,” said Donnell Rehagen, NBB CEO. “Our industry is an American success story driving economic activity and opportunity throughout our great nation.”

With the current Administration in Washington, American products and jobs are receiving a lot of attention. This summer, President Trump held what was known as “Made in America” week, bringing attention to the industries that are making products in each state. The biodiesel industry employs workers in every state, and plants producing clean, renewable biodiesel fuel can be found in 38 states.

In addition to providing jobs for Americans, biodiesel supports an economic impact of more than $8.4 billion throughout the country. Lowering prices at the pump allows Americans to not be shackled by fuel prices. Biodiesel adds value to farmers, contributing value back to the agricultural products used as feedstocks, allowing a more profitable farm. Biodiesel also helps small communities thrive as plants and facilities spread the wealth to workers and encourages spending within the community.

Biodiesel truly is working from coast to coast, and provides a great example of American values hard at work.

 

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NBB Fair Trade Coalition Succeeds in Latest Stage of Biodiesel Import Case

The National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition recently won a preliminary countervailing duty determination from the Commerce Department regarding subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The Commerce Department found that Argentina and Indonesia provide subsidies to their biodiesel producers that violate international trade rules.

“The Commerce Department recognized what this industry has known all along—that foreign biodiesel producers have benefited from massive subsidies that have severely injured U.S. biodiesel producers,” said Doug Whitehead, NBB Chief Operating Officer. “The coalition is grateful that the Commerce Department has taken preliminary steps that will allow the U.S. industry to compete on a level playing field.”

As a result of the decision, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will be required to pay cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries starting August 28. The cash deposit rates range from 50.29 to 64.17 percent for biodiesel from Argentina, and 41.06 to 68.28 percent for biodiesel from Indonesia, depending on the foreign producer or exporter involved.

The NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed these petitions to address a flood of subsidized and dumped imports from Argentina and Indonesia that has 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, low-priced imports prevented producers from earning adequate returns on their substantial investments and caused U.S. producers to pull back on further investments to serve a growing market. 

 

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 Bacon Grease and Used Tires Make Biodiesel

Even though biodiesel is well known for its renewable qualities, scientists continue to look for new ways to turn additional waste products into biodiesel. Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have recently begun making biodiesel with recycled cooking oil and by using old tires as a catalyst for producing the fuel.

"We are functionalizing the carbon in these tires and using it as a catalyst, converting waste cooking oil into a biofuel," said Parans Paranthaman, lead scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "This is not corn or anything diverted from the food chain, this is a waste bio-source, and it is unlimited."

The United States is no stranger to waste, generating nearly 300 million scrap tires each year. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that hotels and restaurants alone create roughly three billion gallons of used cooking oil each year. Most of that oil is wasted and ends up filling landfills alongside the old tires. Oak Ridge scientists want to use this waste and create renewable energy out of it.

If all of that used oil was recycled to create biodiesel, one truck would be able to travel 800 million miles, driving coast to coast nearly 250,000 times.

Waste products like used cooking oil only add to the diverse group of feedstocks that can be recycled to create biodiesel. Turning waste into clean, renewable fuel will help keep America’s air clean and fuel tanks full.

 

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How Much is 64,000 Jobs?

The past several issues of the Biodiesel Bulletin have featured stories about hard working Americans who work great jobs in their communities thanks to biodiesel. These are just a handful of the amazing people that work in the industry. Biodiesel truly represents American values by helping to sustain American communities, fuel American enterprise, and advance American resourcefulness.Biodiesel, also known as America’s Advanced Biofuel, continues to provide positive impacts throughout the nation. From coast to coast, biodiesel encourages growth, innovation, and production by supporting more than 64,000 jobs.

Take a look at the video below to get a better perspective on just how many jobs 64,000 actually is.

 

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