Biodiesel policy is laser-focused right now on two primary issues – the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the tax incentive – two policies that drive growth in the industry.
During an address to the membership at the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel said they should take credit in the success of getting higher volumes under the RFS. “The fact that biodiesel was able to achieve most of its policy goals while others did not…is something we should really be proud of,” said Steckel. “I am proud to say that a two billion gallon standard moving forward is a long way away from the original RFS that flat lined biodiesel at 1.28 billion gallons.”
Steckel noted that they will continue to work toward a producers tax credit. “We were successful in winning a two year extension (of the blenders tax credit) through the remainder of this year,” she said. “However Congress…stopped just short of converting the tax credit into a producers incentive.” She says the fight will continue.
Cindy Zimmerman also interviewed Anne about the 2015 biodiesel numbers that came out earlier this week and how they show the need for a producers tax credit as more biodiesel is being imported into this country to take advantage of the blenders credit.
Mike Livergood is retiring this year from ADM after nearly four decades with the company and for his many years of service to the industry, he received the Eye on Biodiesel Lifetime Achievement award this year at the National Biodiesel Conference in Tampa.
Livergood has been at the forefront of helping develop the biodiesel industry, even before it was commercialized in this country. His work to keep the industry unified through the National Biodiesel Board has been essential to growth and success.
In his acceptance speech, Livergood talked about how ADM become involved with the National Biodiesel Board back in 1999. “By 2011, we were running eleven biodiesel facilities on three continents with total capacity of nearly three-quarters of a billion gallons a year,” he said. “Biodiesel was truly the savior of the soybean crushing industry.”
PACCAR was honored with this year’s Eye on Biodiesel “Initiative Award” for their commitment to #biodiesel blends. Giving remarks during the Biodiesel Showcase, Jason Johnson, director of aftermarket for PACCAR, announced that the new PACCAR MX-11 engine and all model years of its MX-13 engine, both legacy models and new equipment, are now approved for use with B20. More than 100,000 trucks, both new and old, join the biodiesel ranks and each year and these vehicles drive more than 12 billion miles. With this announcement, Johnson said there are now nearly 1 million Peterbilt and Kenworth medium and heavy duty trucks approved for use up to #B20 biodiesel blends.
Addressing an engaged and excited crowd, NBB CEO Joe Jobe said, “PACCAR’s support underlines that biodiesel is the single best carbon mitigation strategy out there; with widespread support across all diesel applications, we are perfectly positioned to deliver even more cleaner burning biodiesel into the marketplace. The U.S. biodiesel industry has invested over twenty years of research and development activity to provide the highest quality biodiesel fuel for the marketplace, and today we recognize PACCAR for taking the initiative to endorse B20 biodiesel blends for use in your equipment.”
Landon Sproull, PACCAR assistant vice president, said in a statement following the award announcement, “PACCAR is pleased to earn the Eye on Biodiesel Award while we are expanding PACCAR’s engine line of B20 compatible engines. Our new B20 compatible PACCAR MX-11 engine is available in Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks beginning in January 2016, joining our highly successful MX-13 engine. PACCAR designs and builds the most durable, fuel-efficient and highest quality heavy-duty truck engines in the world, and PACCAR engines perform well using a variety of fuel sources.”
“Increasing our support level from B5 to B20 biodiesel blends provides more choice and value to PACCAR’s customers,” Sproull added.
To learn more about PACCAR’s commitment to biodiesel and to learn more about the “bright yellow truck,” watch my video with Jason Johnson.
2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo Photo Album
At the opening General Session of the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Tampa Tuesday, there was a theme of the underdog winning the game – and a promise that biodiesel is in the game to win.
“Last year the biodiesel industry demonstrated more than ever that no matter how beat up we are, no matter how outgunned we are, we don’t back down,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe. “We came together like never before. We stayed true to our principles in the face of deceitful attacks and we achieved the success necessary to put us back on track.”
Though optimistic, Jobe also noted significant challenges still remain. “While our fight is not over, we have a different future. 2016 is going to be our strongest year yet,” he said. “The strategy of disinformation is now being deployed to attack renewable energy and climate change science. Our opponents will continue to use outrageous and desperate tactics as they continue to undermine and work to repeal the only carbon reduction policy currently available in the transportation sector.”
Jobe had a baseball theme to his speech and used many quotes from Yogi Berra, also known as “Yogisms” – and noted that the 5’7″ Yankee was often underestimated. “I bring up Yogi not just because I admire him as a player, a person, a humorist, and a fellow Missouri boy, but because I wanted to illustrate how the biodiesel industry has been underestimated, overshadowed, and underrated,” said Jobe. “And 2016 is the year that we change that.”
The myth that biofuels is a choice between food versus fuel is still perpetuated regardless of scientific data showing otherwise. The true fact about biofuels, including biodiesel, is that they produce food AND fuel. #Biodiesel’s role in both providing food and fuel, as well as in reducing carbon, were the topics of a presentation by Don Scott with the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) during the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference in Tampa, Florida.
Scott began his presentation by stating three things:
Biodiesel complements the fuel supply.
Solar energy is abundant and efficient.
Mitigating climate change does not cost. It pays.
Biodiesel, said Scott, produces protein as a byproduct, an essential source of nutrition for humans. However, protein is expensive. But because biodiesel production only uses the oils (fat), protein is produced at a lower cost than average protein sources on the market.
Based on this fact, Scott had a motto, per se, during his presentation: “When we grow protein to feed the world, we naturally get more carbs, fat, and other fiber byproducts than we can eat.” Therefore, he said, it makes sense to use this excess fat to displace petroleum, and biodiesel is the best example of nature’s design for food and fuel. And an added bonus, while today biodiesel represents about 20 percent of the renewable fuel market, it provides 40 percent of the carbon reductions as a result of using these renewable fuels.
According to new EPA data, consumers used a record of nearly 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel last year, demonstrating biodiesel’s rising popularity and its success as the first EPA-designated advanced biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide.
“We just came through a two and a half year period of very difficult struggle because of the EPA’s delay in issuing the rule-making on the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe. “We’re positioned to break a record again in 2016.”
The theme of the biodiesel industry’s 13th annual conference this year is Coast to Coast, which Jobe says reflects the diversity of the fuel. “That diversity gives us a certain amount of strength in terms of our policy and how we utilize very diversified regionally abundant feedstocks,” said Jobe.
The conference really gets underway Tuesday morning when the Expo hall opens and Jobe will lead the opening general session with his state of the industry address. Keep track of all the conference activities on the Biodiesel Conference Blog – and you can also look back on the past 10 years of biodiesel conferences archived there as well.
With the Iowa caucuses coming up February 1, the Hawkeye State has been inundated with both candidates and reporters, and ethanol has become a topic for mainstream media to report about, often inaccurately. In this Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen discusses the inaccurate terms being used to describe the RFS, urges the media and voters to do independent research, and gives his thoughts on the views of Republican candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
During the 10th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, along with Mike Naig, deputy secretary of agriculture, highlighted the new “Fueling Our Future 100” program. In round one, the program has allocated $2.49 million dollars to help Iowa gas retailers install 107 blender pumps and 8 underground storage tanks to store high blends of ethanol. Naig said applications for the 2nd round of funding are due February 1, 2016.
Reynolds noted that each blender pump installed benefits Iowa’s agricultural economy and supports good jobs for Iowa families. Adding blender pumps also gives consumers more choices at the pump, she added.
“Thanks to the support of our federal partners at the USDA, the ‘Fueling our Future 100’ program is going to ensure that consumers in our state have greater access to biofuels. We’re appreciative of companies like Five Star Coop, New Century Farm Services, Kum & Go, STAR Energy and Three Rivers Farm Services Company for their efforts in continuing to put Iowa on the forefront of an even greater renewable future.”
The Fueling Our Future 100 received a $5 million competitive grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) program. All funds must be matched by non-federal funds, including up to $2.5 million from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure program. The fueling sites applying for assistance will also be required to provide a minimum of $2.5 million.
A letter signed by Iowa Congressmen David Young, Rod Blum, Steve King, and Dave Loebsack, and Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, was sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy encouraging her to commit to getting the RFS back on track.
“Our agricultural base in Iowa, serving as feedstock for ethanol and biodiesel production, has near record supplies of excess corn,” the members of Congress wrote. “We believe the statutory levels are more than achievable in the coming year.”
Reps. Loebsack, Young and King all appeared Tuesday at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit to discuss the letter and the importance of the RFS.
“We’ll see if we get any results,” from the letter, said Rep. King. “But we’ve been saying consistently and persistently that the RFS is in statute – follow it.”
“It’s not totally out of the question for us to work together,” said Loebsack, the only Democrat of the three. “And on this issue it’s a complete no brainer … it’s about our economy, it’s about our farmers, it’s about national security, it’s about a lot of things.”
“We have farm income down about 35% and we have the EPA which seems to be on a warpath at times,” said Young. “We’re just asking the EPA to obey the law.”
This week marks the 61st anniversary of the first house in America with solar heating and radiation cooling. Located in Tuscon, Arizona, the house featured a large, slanting slab of steel and glass that coverts sunlight into heat that was ducted into the house. Today, many homes use solar panels to capture the natural heat of the sun and solar is currently the power source for around 83,000 U.S. homes according to the U.S. Census Census Bureau.
While solar accounts for a .7 percent of the power fueling American homes, its growing. However, of the 117 million occupied housing unit, gas remains the most heating fuel, outpacing electricity – about 57 million to 44 million.
The January 17th edition of Profile America focuses on solar power using data gathered as part of the American Community Survey. The program is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau.