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Federal Affairs Project Priorities


NBB’s top priority is maintaining a strong RFS and continuing growth in the Biomass-Based Diesel and Advanced Biofuel categories of the program. As the program encounters increasingly aggressive attacks, we have worked hard to demonstrate that biodiesel is an Advanced Biofuel that’s working today to achieve our nation’s renewable fuels goals of diversifying fuel supplies, strengthening energy security, boosting the economy and reducing emissions. These efforts, including our largest-ever advertising campaign alongside growing public affairs and government affairs operations, have been successful in shielding the industry from some of the criticism and controversy surrounding other fuels. We have the facts on our side: we are the first EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production. We’ve surpassed RFS volume requirements in each year of the program. We’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent compared with petroleum. And we’re helping consumers by diversifying the fuel supply and displacing imported diesel fuel.

NBB also continues to educate and provide technical assistance to help its members navigate RFS requirements and to ensure that the program is functioning as Congress intended. This includes our exhaustive negotiations with the EPA, petroleum groups and others to strengthen RIN integrity while defending our industry’s interests.

Finally, NBB continues to lead our industry’s efforts to defend the RFS on the legal front. In recent years, we have intervened in support of the RFS in five legal challenges from the petroleum sector and others in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.


After winning an extension in January, the biodiesel tax incentive expired on Dec. 31, 2013. Thus far, Congress has been divided on tax policy and has not renewed any tax incentives this year as lawmakers have focused on efforts to pass comprehensive tax reform. We expect this to continue until late in the year before lawmakers begin pushing to extend expiring tax incentives.

We believe the bipartisan support we have built has put the biodiesel tax incentive in a good position to win another short-term extension. However, like it did last January, passage will depend heavily on whether and how Congress can resolve differences on big-picture budget and tax issues.

State Energy Initiatives

2013 was another successful year for the State Governmental Affairs department, where our objective is to work with members to make state programs a solid margin opportunity and a good insurance policy against the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.  

The year was led by successful efforts in New York State and Rhode Island, both of which passed statewide Bioheat mandates. The New York State policy requires that two percent biodiesel be blended into all heating oil beginning in 2015. The Rhode Island policy starts at B2 next year and increases to B5 in 2017. In addition, the City of New York continues to be a bright spot. New York implemented its citywide B2 Bioheat requirement without incident, passed legislation that will make it the first municipality to use B20 fleetwide, and approved a number of other smaller biodiesel initiatives.  

In the Midwest, Minnesota continues to serve as a national leader on biodiesel policy. On September 30th, state agencies announced that Minnesota’s biodiesel requirement will increase from B5 to B10 beginning July 1, 2014.  The policy will remain at B5 during the cold weather months.   On the West Coast, the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard keeps moving forward. The LCFS survived two major legal challenges and biodiesel volumes are expected to double for a second consecutive year, a trend we see continuing.  

Finally, with tight state budgets and the sheer volume of biodiesel policies on the books at this point, we are playing more and more defense. This year, we worked with members to preserve important policies in New Mexico, New York, Illinois, and California. While we want to expand biodiesel programs, our top priority will continue to be keeping the good policies around the country that we already have in place.