Biodiesel Board Rebrands as Clean Fuels Alliance America

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The National Biodiesel Board today unveiled its new name and new brand, Clean Fuels Alliance America, during the opening session of the 2022 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. The transformation to Clean Fuels helps the industry represent all its industry members: biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels.

“Our industry has seen and will continue to see significant growth as the world around us focuses on clean energy,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of Clean Fuels. “We are an integral part of the solution for sustainable energy that’s not only affordable but also scalable and available now. Further, our new name and brand represents the connected energies of our members and positions our industry for a clean fuels future.”

The National Biodiesel Conference & Expo’s theme for 2022 is “All In” and represents the momentum being carried by all players in the biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel industry. This year, more than 600 attendees are hearing from experts on supply and decarbonization and the opportunities ahead for the industry as a whole.

Listen to Donnell Rehagen, CEO, Clean Fuels Alliance America – Opening Speech
Donnell Rehagen Speech (24:22)

2022 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Conference Blog

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Fleet Leaders Named ‘Biodiesel Ambassadors’

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The National Biodiesel Board has named two nationally recognized fleet leaders as Biodiesel Ambassadors and both will be taking part in the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo kicking off in Las Vegas today.

John Benish Jr. is the second-generation executive of Cook-Illinois Corporation, a family-owned and operated school bus company based in Oak Brook, Illinois. He began powering his fleet of more than 2,200 school buses with biodiesel blends in 2005.

“The day we began using biodiesel, we began reducing harmful emissions immediately, with no modifications needed to our buses,” Benish Jr. said. “For us, safety and reliability are everything. With biodiesel, our feeling is why not use a fuel that’s better for our engines, better for the students and supports Illinois farmers?”

Mahanth Joishy became the fleet manager for Madison, Wisconsin in 2017, and one of his first acts was to switch the city’s heavy-duty fleet — about 500 vehicles — to blends of biodiesel fuel.

“We are not powerless in facing climate change, which is a threat not just to Wisconsin, but to the world,” Joishy said. “We can choose to take action by using better technologies and fuels, including biodiesel. Our community wants this and demands even more.”

The Biodiesel Ambassador program is supported by the United Soybean Board and soybean checkoff.

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Biodiesel Conference to Usher in New Era of Clean Fuels

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The biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel industries will come together this week at the 2022 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Jan. 17-20, to usher in a new year and a new era of clean fuels.

“This year, our industry celebrates its 30th anniversary, and with that, we will formally announce an organizational name change that capitalizes on the connected energies of everyone in the industry working together toward a clean fuels future,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen. “The new name reflects the evolution and growth in demand for all of the products we create – biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. Our membership spans North America and represents nearly all of the companies that are producing the most sustainable fuels on the planet. This new name will position us for growth in the clean energy ecosystem and continue building on our longtime role as the voice of this industry to markets, stakeholders and policymakers.”

Learn more about what’s on the table at the 2022 Biodiesel Conference from Brad Shimmens, NBB Director of Operations and Membership, in the interview below and stay tuned to the Biodiesel Conference Blog for the latest news from the event.

Biodiesel conference preivew with Brad Shimmens, NBB (3:05)

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Plasma Blue Back at Biodiesel Conference

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Plasma Blue on display at 2020 National Biodiesel Conference

Plasma Blue debuted at the last in-person National Biodiesel Conference in 2020 and the novel process using electricity and liquid plasma to induce the transesterification process will be back at the 2022 conference next week in Las Vegas.

Plasma Blue CEO Tom Slunecka says they are excited to be back with a slightly different show unit to display. “This unit will show plants how we can expand to larger capacities,” said Slunecka. “We’re going to be there with our technical people on hand to have a conversation with anybody who’s interested in doing something new and different and more cost effective.”

Learn more in this interview, stop by and see them at the Biodiesel Conference next week, and check out their website Plasma-Blue.com.

NBB2022 Interview with Tom Slunecka, Plasma Blue (5:58)

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Iowa Governor Prioritizes Biofuels for 2022

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During her 2022 Condition of the State speech this week, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds highlighted biofuels and her commitment to expand consumer access to E15 and B20 as one of her top priorities for this legislative session.

“I am introducing new legislation that will improve access to E15 and B20 and upgrade Iowa’s fuel infrastructure to offer higher blends,” said Reynolds. “And I’m proposing that we invest in carbon-capture solutions to sustain and build on our leadership position in renewable energy.”

Iowa Gov. Reynolds (1:59)

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association noted two new studies showing the positive economic and health benefits if consumers were to transition to regularly using E15 instead of E10.

The studies conducted by national experts looked specifically at what the economic and environmental impacts would be from E15 replacing E10 as the most commonly purchased fuel in Iowa. Over 95% of vehicles on the road today are approved by the EPA to use E15. Key findings included saving consumers nearly $134 million at the pump each year, supporting almost 4,000 jobs, and reducing 258,894 tons of CO2 annually.

An economic impact study conducted by John Urbanchuk, ABF Economics, found consumers would realize nearly $134 million in savings at the pump. Dr. Steffen Mueller, Univ. of Illinois – Chicago, studied the health and environmental benefits and found Annually reduction in CO2 emissions by 258,894 tons.

Governor Reynolds will once again be addressing the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, coming up on January 25.

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Nebraska Ethanol Helps Raise $11K for Cancer Research

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The Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board, and Renewable Fuels Nebraska joined together to raise almost $11,000 during the “Fuel the Cure” promotion last year in conjunction with retail stations.

During October, when drivers chose higher blends of ethanol fuel like E15, E30 and E85 at participating retail locations, gas stations donated 3 cents for each gallon sold, resulting in a total of $10,827 which was donated to the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha. The promotion has now raised nearly $30,000 for cancer research over the past four years.

“Ethanol producers and sellers have been the biggest proponents of providing an environmentally friendlier way to power our vehicles for many years,” said Jessica Sodeke, program manager for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “We commend these retailers for making higher ethanol blends available and giving consumers a choice in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Supporting ‘Fuel the Cure’ is a step beyond because the funds are directly impacting lives of patients at the Buffett Cancer Center.”

Preparations are already underway for Fuel the Cure 2022 and Nebraska fuel retailers who sell higher ethanol blends are encouraged to join the effort by contacting the Nebraska Ethanol Board.

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CARB Urged to Recognize Climate-Smart Farming in LCFS

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The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), along with the Great Plains Institute, Low Carbon Fuels Coalition, the National Biodiesel Board, and Canadian Oilseed Processors Association, this week sent a letter to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) urging them to recognize the climate benefits of farming practices in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). .

The letter cites principles for farm-level carbon intensity (CI) accounting originally developed through the work of the Midwestern Clean Fuels Initiative.

“…CARB would take a leading role in incentivizing carbon-smart farming practices in all locations that grow feedstock for LCFS fuel pathways, build knowledge regarding the short- and long-term effectiveness of various SCS [soil carbon sequestration] strategies, and speed fulfillment of California’s aggressive decarbonization goals,” the letter reads.

In separate comments, ACE Board Member Ron Alverson explains how the food price index has the highest correlation with crude oil price, not biofuel. After outlining the discrepancies between model predictions and observed data, Alverson urges CARB to revise its assumptions predicting the impact of biofuel on food prices and indirect land use change.

Read more from ACE.

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2021 Corn and Soybean Production Up, Forecast Higher

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Corn and soybean production were both higher in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the 2021 Crop Production Annual Summary released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

U.S. corn growers produced 15.1 billion bushels, up 7% from 2020 and the second highest on record. Corn yield in the United States is estimated at a record high 177.0 bushels per acre, 5.6 bushels above the 2020 yield of 171.4 bushels per acre. Area harvested for grain, at 85.4 million acres, is up 4% from 2020.

Soybean production for 2021 totaled a record-high 4.44 billion bushels, up 5% from 2020. With record high yields in 21 states, the average soybean yield is estimated at 51.4 bushels per acre, 0.4 bushel above 2020 and the second highest on record.

The 2021/22 U.S. corn outlook in the January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, also released on Wednesday, forecasts higher production, greater food, seed, and industrial use (FSI), lower exports, and larger ending stocks.

Corn production is estimated at 15.115 billion bushels, up 53 million on a 0.3-million acre increase in harvested area. Total corn use is virtually unchanged at 14.835 billion. Exports are lowered 75 million bushels to 2.425 billion, reflecting expectations of increased competition from other exporters. FSI use is raised 80 million bushels. Corn used for ethanol is raised 75 million bushels to 5.325 billion, based on data through November from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and weekly ethanol production data as reported by the Energy Information Administration for the month of December.

U.S. soybean production is estimated at 4.44 billion bushels, up 10 million with gains for Iowa and Indiana. Soybean supplies are raised 11 million bushels on higher production and slightly higher beginning stocks. With crush and export forecasts unchanged, ending stocks are projected at 350 million bushels

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Hearing Explores Impact of EV Adoption on Agriculture

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As President Biden has pledged that half of all new cars will be electric by 2030, some are raising concerns about the impact such a rapid change would have on agriculture and rural America.

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine that issue Wednesday and heard from several stakeholders who stand to be impacted, one being convenience store owners. Trevor Walter, Vice President of Petroleum Supply Management for Sheetz, spoke on behalf of National Association of Convenience Stores, pointing out the need to take advantage of all technologies to reduce carbon.

“One of those technologies is the renewable fuels that are part of our system of powering vehicles today,” said Walter. “Those who would ban internal combustion engines are making a grave mistake…A ban would set renewable fuels on a path to elimination and would cause economic hardship for the farmers who produce and sell the feedstocks for those fuels.”

Trevor Walter, Sheetz, hearing testimony (5:31)

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper told the committee that there should actually be an increased role for low-carbon biofuels in the near term, given the relatively small number of electric vehicles and barriers to EV adoption. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that roughly 80 percent of new light-duty vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2050 will be powered by an internal combustion engine.

“Even with increased electric vehicle sales expected in the years ahead, it would take decades to entirely turn over the fleet. As such, hundreds of billions of gallons of liquid fuel will continue to be used in ICE vehicles for many years to come. To achieve true carbon neutrality in the U.S. transportation system by mid-century, strategies focused on decarbonizing those liquid fuels will need to be undertaken,” said Cooper.

RFA CEO Geoff Cooper hearing testimony (5:06)

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RFA President and CEO Comments on EV Hearing

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RFA LogoRenewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper is testifying at a House Agriculture Committee “Implications of Electric Vehicle Investments for Agriculture and Rural America.” today, January 12, at 10 AM ET.

Ahead of the hearing, Cooper held a press call with reporters to discuss the vital role that agriculture and rural America can and should play in securing net-zero carbon emissions from the transportation sector. He also answered questions on other issues, including the industry’s strategy for E15 now that the Supreme Court has denied an appeal, EPA’s proposal to cut the 2020 RVO, and climate smart agriculture.

RFA CEO Geoff Cooper press call (37:20)

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