Biodiesel Bulletin

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

February 1, 2019  

20 Year Anniversary of the Biodiesel Bulletin

National Biodiesel Conference Lifts Off in San Diego

Biodiesel Awards Honor Industry Champions

Diesel Vehicles in it for the long haul

Biodiesel leaders nationwide “Engage” to fuel 2019

Next Gen Biodiesel Scientists Take One Small Step

NBB hires federal affairs director


20 Year Anniversary of the Biodiesel Bulletin

“The Biodiesel Bulletin will provide information about current events involving the activities of the National Biodiesel Board and its cooperators.” These words led off the very first issue of the Biodiesel Bulletin, which was published twenty years ago on February 5, 1999. What was originally a bi-monthly publication to a few hundred readers, the Biodiesel Bulletin is now issued every month to more than 12 thousand subscribers.

The bulletin was designed to respond to the current critical need for biodiesel stakeholders to work together on the common goal of advancing biodiesel fuel sales and usage in the United States and abroad. This rings as true today as it did in 1999. The biodiesel industry has continued to grow through the years, with hundreds of companies relying on unified messaging and the support that the National Biodiesel Board provides through efforts such as the Biodiesel Bulletin.

In 1999 the industry was producing less than 20 million gallons of biodiesel. Today it is a nearly 3-billion-gallon industry. This growth has been a group effort from producers to feedstock suppliers and more. The Biodiesel Bulletin has provided consistent support through all of it, allowing readers to see the latest efforts from the industry and hear how biodiesel is being used throughout the country.

While the industry has experienced ups and downs, the National Biodiesel Board and the Biodiesel Bulletin have remained a constant source of information for all things biodiesel. NBB is proud to have represented the industry through the bulletin for 20 years, and we hope to keep doing so for many years to come.



National Biodiesel Conference Lifts Off in San Diego

The biodiesel industry came together last month to engage, innovate, and grow during the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. The national event of the year lifted off Tuesday in San Diego with inspirational remarks from industry leadership.

Acknowledging 2019 as the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing, Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, applauded the remarkable resolve of NASA scientists who were on a mission to ensure America reached the surface first. Early biodiesel explorers faced their own challenges in creating an entirely new fuel, from sustainable resources, to power heavy-duty vehicles, cars, boats and heat American homes, he said.

“Just like with the race to the moon, I am sure there were times throughout the research and development phase, where it would have been perfectly understandable for the leaders to say, ‘this can’t be done,’ ‘this is not happening as fast as we want,’ ‘this is costing us too much,’” Rehagen said.  “The patience our founders demonstrated in sticking to the mission is what I am grateful for every day.”

The biodiesel industry, like the explorers of America’s space program, benefited from clear direction from political leaders that is necessary in fostering new endeavors. However, Rehagen said that there is more Congress and the White House can do to encourage investment and growth in the still young biodiesel industry.

“Just like NASA had to partner with the private sector in their research, development and testing, [the biodiesel industry] has increased its intelligence and reach by increasing regular dialogue with our industry partners. Although we may not agree on 100 percent of everything, we know we are stronger together and can accomplish more by cooperating and listening to other ideas.



Biodiesel Awards Honor Industry Champions

The National Biodiesel Board’s annual Eye on Biodiesel awards recognize a diverse group of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to biodiesel. From long-time champions to present-day breakthroughs, the commercial biodiesel industry wouldn’t be where it is today without these individuals.

“These leaders are integral to the growth and development of the biodiesel industry, and we would not have seen the strength in the biofuels sector this year without their extensive dedication,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Our association applauds and thanks these innovative individuals for the strides they have made to push our industry forward.” 

NBB recognized the 2019 award winners during the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. The honorees are:

Cory-Ann Wind, Oregon Clean Fuels Program Manager, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality – Climate Leader Award 
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administers the state’s Clean Fuels Program (CFP), which is led by Clean Fuels Program Manager Cory-Ann Wind. The CFP requires gradually increasing carbon intensity reductions for transportation fuels, culminating in a 10 percent reduction by 2025. Following only the second year of program implementation, biodiesel use in Oregon grew to 51 million gallons.

NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry – Industry Partnership Award

NTEA represents more than 2,050 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell, and repair commercial trucks. They also provide in-depth technical information, education, and member programs and services. NBB’s partnership with NTEA has been instrumental in getting biodiesel information to the critical audience in the work truck industry.

Casey’s General Stores – Impact Award

In the past year, Casey’s General Stores has become a leading player in the biodiesel industry, keeping biodiesel in high consumer demand. Casey’s has now converted more than 590 stores to biodiesel and plans to expand the use of biodiesel products to another 300 locations. With this prominence across the country, the biodiesel industry has an opportunity to make strides in public awareness and usage of America’s Advanced Biofuel.

Ron Kotrba, Editor of Biodiesel Magazine – Influence Award

Ron Kotrba has served as Editor of Biodiesel Magazine for nearly a decade, going above and beyond to create awareness and provide an important platform for the voices within the industry. His depth of knowledge on the issues affecting the industry has led to strong, consistent reporting of the complex issues faced over the years. Under Kotrba’s leadership, Biodiesel Magazine continues to be a critical platform for sharing biodiesel success stories that are key to building support for industry growth.

Dr. Stephen Kaffka, Extension Agronomist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis – Inspiration Award

Dr. Stephen Kaffka has been a key advisor during implementation of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard. His expertise on agricultural production bridged the gap between the good things that farmers can do, and the environmental metrics desired by the ARB and their stakeholders who place environmental protection as a top priority. As a result, biodiesel producers are participating in an expanding California market while the carbon reduction goals are being exceeded.


Diesel Vehicles in it for the long haul

The future of the fuels market is heavily influenced by the future of the vehicle market and vice-versa – the two are inseparable. However, transportation industry experts agree that diesel engines are in it for the long haul. And when those highly fuel-efficient and powerful diesel engines are paired with renewable, clean-burning biodiesel, the combination is hard to beat on the road to a more sustainable future.

According to recent research by The Fuels Institute and Navigant Research, diesel and hybrid diesel powertrains together are projected to make up nearly 62 percent of U.S. commercial vehicle registrations by 2025.

“Diesel powertrains are the technology of choice for commercial trucking because of their unique combination of power, efficiency, durability, range, reliability and performance” said Ezra Finkin, Director of Policy and Outreach for the Diesel Technology Forum. “The greatest benefits for the environment and for truckers lie in the widespread adoption of the newest generation of clean diesel technology and powering those engines with advanced biofuels such as biodiesel.”

Several Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) revealed their latest diesel models during the Biodiesel Vehicle Technology Showcase event at the recent National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. 2019 is looking to be a banner year for diesel vehicle enthusiasts, with an impressive lineup of B20 biodiesel-capable diesel models offered by John Deere and other major brands in the agricultural and construction equipment market, a plethora of impressive work truck offerings from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America and other major medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers, as well as nearly 50 light duty diesel car, truck, van, and SUV options from Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and more.


Biodiesel leaders nationwide “Engage” to fuel 2019

Hundreds of biodiesel leaders from across the country gathered in San Diego, California this past month to ENGAGE in thought provoking discussions to help advance America’s advanced biofuel. During the conference, the National Biodiesel Board celebrated the many accomplishments and milestones of 2018, and got attendees excited about biodiesel’s future in 2019 and beyond.

To honor this year’s theme of ENGAGE, here are some of the major takeaways from the memorable conference:

E – Educate: One of the main goals of the conference is to educate attendees on all things biodiesel and biodiesel related. For instance, there were educational sessions like Biodiesel 101, which gave attendees all the basics they needed to know about the biodiesel industry, and Riding for the Brand, a session designed to share how biodiesel companies can help America’s Advanced Biofuel stand out in a growing field of options for consumers.

N – Navigate:  A focus for many biodiesel leaders is federal and state policy, and the impacts they are making in the industry. “It has always been NBB’s strategy to help establish state and regional policies to compliment the federal policies that shape our industry’s market,” says NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen.

During the conference, NBB made sure to cover all policy bases and shared updated information on what 2019 looks like for America’s Advanced Biofuel. The Renewable Fuel Standard, trade, tax incentive, low carbon fuel policies, and Minnesota’s B20 state standard were amongst topics covered.

G – Gather: This year, NBB had over 800 biodiesel producers, distributors, retailers, and other industry advocates gather in sunny San Diego for the conference. The National Biodiesel Conference & Expo has been a place for biodiesel enthusiasts to gather and network with other professionals since 2004. In fact, NBB has hosted in California five times for the annual event.

A – Answer: During the conference, professional speakers answered key questions about the biodiesel market, new regulations, critical policies, alternative fuels, biodiesel branding, and environmental impacts. Each mainstage session allowed audience members the ability to write in questions to be answered by the on-stage panel, providing key insights to attendees.

G – Next (G)eneration: Each year the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program offers scholarships to college students for an opportunity to participate alongside other industry experts at the conference. At this year’s conference, scholarship winners had the opportunity to share their extensive biodiesel research during a poster session and held a breakout session, One Small Step: The Next Generation of Biodiesel Scientists, to share their key findings and industry breakthroughs.

E – Environment: The environment is always top of mind at the National Biodiesel Conference. Integral sessions discussed how biodiesel companies can commit to the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions and advance affordable, domestic renewable fuels to clean the environment.

If you missed anything during the conference, please visit the conference blog for detailed content including informative interviews, stories, photos, and more.



Next Gen Biodiesel Scientists Take One Small Step

As the world celebrates 50 years since that first small step for man on the moon, the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel (NGSB) are continuing to take that giant leap for mankind doing research here on Earth for the future.

NGSB co-chair Jennifer Greenstein, North Carolina State University, moderated a panel of four young scientists from around the world during the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo last month. Haixin Peng, Auburn University is from China; Shyam Paudel, Missouri University of Science and Technology, grew up in Nepal and is another NGBS co-chair; Santhosh Poojary, NMAM Institute of Technology-Nitte in India; and Tatiana Melloa at Louisiana State University comes to us from Brazil. What they all have in common is a love for science and biofuels.

These five NGSB students, along with eleven other bright young scientists were able to present their research at poster sessions throughout the conference, allowing biodiesel industry experts to view their up and coming work. Opportunities like these allow for excellent networking and future employment.

A few years ago, Jesse Mayer was NGSB co-chair during his studies at the University of Nevada-Reno. His experience as an NGSB student helped land him a career in San Diego at Thermo Fisher Scientific. When he heard the biodiesel conference was going to be there, Jesse wanted to come and share his story about how being involved with NGBS helped him in his job search. Students were able to see firsthand how their efforts now can pay off down the line.

“NBB and the National Biodiesel Foundation have been incredibly helpful, and they are really supportive of students trying to branch out and do networking at these kind of conference opportunities.”



NBB hires federal affairs director

The National Biodiesel Board’s federal affairs efforts are getting stronger thanks to a recent addition to the team. NBB has hired David W. Cobb to work in their Washington D.C. office as Director of Federal Affairs. David most recently served as Federal Affairs Director for CHS Inc., a Fortune 100 company and the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative, where he advocated for the company’s legislative and regulatory policy priorities.

“I am pleased to add David Cobb to the NBB team as our new Director of Federal Affairs,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “David brings direct experience in the agriculture, biofuel and refining industries and can hit the ground running on behalf of the biodiesel industry.”

Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, “David Cobb is a great addition to the NBB team who will help broaden the biodiesel industry’s advocacy in Washington. He brings deep knowledge of the legislative process and the inner workings of Congress.”

Prior to his six years at CHS Inc., David worked in government affairs for S&P Global, as a legislative assistant for Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), and for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

Headquartered in Jefferson City, Mo., NBB maintains a Washington office for federal affairs and work on regulatory issues surrounding international trade and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The recent addition of Regulatory Affairs Director Kate Shenk also helps to grow the impressive D.C. staff team. The biodiesel industry is prepared to tackle Washington head on through 2019 and beyond.



For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.



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