Biodiesel Giant REG Says ‘No’ to Crude Oil at Port

John Davis

REGBiodiesel giant Renewable Energy Group (REG) doesn’t want to ship crude oil through its new port and plant in Washington state. This article from the Seattle Times says the Iowa-based company is leaving crude oil out of its plans for the mammoth Grays Harbor biodiesel plant REG bought last summer from Imperium Renewables.

The document was filed in late November, as comment on a draft environmental impact statement. A REG spokesman on Wednesday confirmed the decision.

Imperium’s original bid to ship crude came amidst a tough market for the renewable fuels that had originally inspired the facility’s construction in 2007. The biofuel frenzy was soon overwhelmed by the financial crisis, and later sidelined by growing production of domestic oil in the U.S. interior.

A significant amount of that crude, produced in North Dakota, has been finding its way to the Pacific Northwest, carried by train.

It’s used by refineries here, but Pacific Northwest ports are also an ideal spot to ship the crude to refineries in Alaska and California — or even abroad, now that the U.S. has reauthorized domestic crude exports for the first time since the 1970s.Imperium sought to jump on that bandwagon before it was sold.

“We are pleased that REG has listened to the people and made this decision. Now we need to continue our fight to convince the other proponents that it is time to follow this lead and abandon their risky projects to bring crude oil to Grays Harbor,” said R.D. Grunbaum, a member of the Stand Up To Oil campaign and Citizens for Clean Harbor, in a press statement.

Biodiesel, REG