California Biodiesel Alliance News
California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association
In this second issue of our members-only newsletter, we are very happy to announce the launching of our revised website with some important new features.
First, CBA's new Partner Sponsor program is off to a great start, and we begin with a warm welcome and tremendous thanks to our new sponsors: The National Biodiesel Board (Gold); EcoEngineers (Silver); ACT Commodities Group and The Jacobsen (Bronze). We are now showcasing Gold and Silver Partner logos on our
page and listing all sponsors with descriptions on a new
Partner Sponsors webpage
and in the Welcome section below.
Second, a new Members Only webpage is now available to you using the password 2006 - the year CBA was founded. See the article below for more details on the broader range of exclusive and detailed information provided on that page, including compliance information not previously presented by CBA - and not gathered together anywhere else.
This issue has more important articles and updates, including an ACTION ALERT ON THE BIODIESEL TAX INCENTIVE, in the Policy section below. But it begins with news about the historic passage of SB 32 and AB 197 and how the low carbon fuels sector and its supporters were instrumental in the safeguarding and enhancement of California's low carbon policies in a very tough political environment.
Note: You are receiving this newsletter because your company/organization or individual membership is current or you are a Partner Sponsor. As a courtesy, we are also making this complete version of the newsletter available to state agency staff who have signed up to receive our newsletters.
Back Issues of this newsletter are available on our Archives page here.
Low Carbon Fuels Sector Instrumental in Historic Extension
of California's Climate Policies
SB 32 /AB 197 Pass and LCFS is Safe
On August 25th, after a few touch-and-go weeks that saw a frenzy of activity in the Capitol around California's carbon reduction policies, SB 32 (Pavley) and the bill it had to be passed with to become law, AB 197 (Garcia), each passed both houses and moved to the desk of an enthusiastic Governor Jerry Brown.
Under SB 32, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will be required to make sure that by 2030 statewide greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to 40 percent below 1990 levels. AB 197 will increase investments in the state's disadvantaged communities and provide legislative oversight toward increasing the accountability of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), whose authority has become controversial.
A proposed amendment to add language to make Cap and Trade part of SB 32 did not make it into the final bill.
However, Governor Brown, in a statement released on August 23rd, said, "Yesterday, big oil bought a full-page ad in the capital city's newspaper of record to halt action on climate. Today, the Assembly Speaker, most Democrats and one brave Republican passed SB 32, rejecting the brazen deception of the oil lobby and their Trump-inspired allies who deny science and fight every reasonable effort to curb global warming. I look forward to signing this bill - and AB 197 - when they land on my desk. With these bills, California's charting a clear path on climate beyond 2020 and we'll continue to work to shore up the cap-and-trade program, reduce super pollutants and direct more investment to disadvantaged communities."
CBA was gratified to coordinate with members of the California Cap and Trade Biofuels Initiative coalition, E2, CALSTART, and other NGOs and members of the low carbon fuels sector to hammer home the message about the jobs our businesses are creating and the benefits we are bringing to disadvantaged communities, all while reducing emissions. We know that together we played a key role in securing this historic victory for our state's bellwether climate policies.
But that's not all. Another critical result of our efforts was the safeguarding of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which had been in jeopardy during the negotiations. CBA and low carbon fuels supporters were intent on making sure that the Governor and the Legislature recognized the success of the LCFS and agreed not to sacrificed it to safeguard SB 32.
Special thanks to our lobbyist, Louie Brown, and to the CBA members who organized site visits by legislators, wrote letters, and sent representatives to Sacramento to meet with legislators and the Governor's office.
Hot Off the Press:
Update on Legislative Efforts to Benefit Instate Biofuels
As of 5pm Wednesday, August 31st, the final results of efforts to secure funding for instate biofuels from Cap and Trade auction proceeds, which are allocated through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), are not known. The latest from CBA lobbyist, Louie Brown, is that the GGRF bill agreed to by leadership and the Administration does not include a line item for biofuels. We are told that the Air Resources Board may be able to use some of the monies appropriated to them for a biofuels program, but there is nothing stating that in the bill. We are actively working with Senator Fran Pavley to see if we can turn this around before midnight!
Also, SB 20 (Pavley), to establish a Low Carbon Fuels Council to coordinate state agencies' work related to accelerating the in-state production of low carbon fuels, is now AB 1205 - and it will not be heard today, the final day of this year's legislative session.
While this may not be great news for this year, CBA and members of the Biofuels Initiative coalition know that we have become respected leaders of the very important movement to secure funding and support for instate biofuels, and we are strongly committed to continuing our efforts until we succeed.
We'll be in touch on this!
CBA and NBB Comment on
Latest ARB Proposals on LCFS Mandatory Verification
This month, CBA and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) again submitted joint comments, this time in response to the latest LCFS mandatory verification program proposals presented at ARB's public workshop on July 29th. The comments called ARB's Second Alternative Proposal for reporting and verification a significant improvement over what was presented at their June 2nd workshop and thanked staff for incorporating much of what was included in our industry's previous comments. The Second Alternative Proposal, which would require visible unique credit identifier numbers (UID) but not quarterly verification, would have the benefit of no lag time in LCFS credit generation. This would result in reduced cost to our industry.
Reiterating our previous request that ARB's verification program be structured like the RFS' Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), the letter argued that a "QAP + LCFS" compliance approach would reduce costs for both industry and California fuel consumers. In addition, the comments argued that QAP providers should be able to offer verification services under the LCFS and to combine site visits, stressing that is not a conflict of interest but an approach that would provide cost savings to biodiesel producers.
Our industry believes that high risk pathway contributors represent the greatest risk to the integrity of the LCFS. The comments recommended that ARB staff - not third-party verifiers - make the ultimate determination of who falls into that category; stay active in the decision-making process; and subject these high risk entities to routine, unannounced field audits.
ARB's proposal at the workshop included other issues that will be part of the rulemaking. Our industry also commented on the proposed feedstock definitions for tallow and animal fats and inedible corn oil.
Please read the full text of the letter on ARB's Stakeholder Feedback page at:
New CBA Webpage for Members Only
Now Provides Policy and Compliance Information
Never Before Presented in One Place
Since our newsletter and website were first published in 2011, CBA has brought readers the details of the regulatory and policy efforts that have been the main focus of our work as the industry trade association for biodiesel in California. These updates have included our efforts to address the many regulatory challenges our industry has faced and to create the best possible policy environment and state funding opportunities for biodiesel.
Long established as the respected voice for biodiesel in the state, our sustained engagement has included concerted efforts with the California Air Resources Board on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and the Alternative Diesel Fuel Regulation (ADF); the California Energy Commission (CEC) on funding under AB 118; the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) on underground storage tank (UST) issues; and the the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and its Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) on Inedible Kitchen Grease (IKG) and fuel quality regulations, respectively.
Also, beginning in 2015, we kept readers informed about our aggressive new state legislative strategy, which has already succeeded in solving a long-standing dyed-diesel tax problem for our industry (AB 1032) and establishing CBA as the respected leader of the California Cap and Trade Biofuels Initiative effort to secure auction proceeds for in-state biofuels production.
CBA's new webpage for Members Only now provides much more background on all these issues and includes a note about which policy areas have an update from the most recent month, so you know what links to click on for current information.
New California Biodiesel Compliance Information
In addition, we are happy to announce that Lisa Mortenson, CEO of Community Fuels, who is well known for her mastery of compliance requirements, is making her slides from CBA's 2013 California biodiesel conference in Las Vegas available on that page. Many thanks to Lisa for letting us provide her presentation "California: Report what to whom, why, and when?" to members.
While this is not intended as a definitive list of compliance requirements, we hope that this is a helpful resource that provides value to your company. CBA recommends consulting with your own advisers to determine the compliance obligations of your business operations in the state.
Importantly, California's policy environment is ever-changing, and several new regulations and requirements have gone into effect since 2013. Also key regulatory rulemaking is currently underway. CBA's newsletter and website will continue to focus on providing policy issue updates to members on issues of critical importance to those doing or wishing to do business in the state.
(Office of Rep. Eric Swalwell)
Swalwell Leads CA Members in Urging EPA to Support Renewable Fuels
WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) on Monday led five of his California colleagues in writing to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to urge that it live up to Congress' intent in enforcing the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal law that requires transportation fuels be blended with renewable biofuels - fuels made from living things, the use of which provides environmental and economic benefits. The law sets targets which increase each year for how much biofuel is to be blended. The EPA has proposed waiving these levels and setting total required renewable fuel levels below the statutory amounts.
The House members urged EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to get the program back on track. The letter was sent as advocates from across the country joined to celebrate the landmark legislation's 11th anniversary.
"The RFS was created to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and provide U.S. consumers with access to cleaner transportation fuels. Despite the recent increase in domestic oil production, the U.S. economy remains heavily dependent on foreign oil and at the mercy of international market prices," the lawmakers noted.
Billions of dollars in private investment have made the United States a leader in homegrown, clean biofuels - California alone is home to dozens of companies working on approaches from algae and biodiesel-based products to municipal solid waste, supporting almost 60,000 jobs.
But the EPA's proposed rule for 2017 falls short of total renewable fuel volumes set in the law by Congress.
"Under this methodology, which Congress previously rejected, EPA allows the oil industry to avoid its statutory blending obligation by claiming there is inadequate infrastructure to bring more biofuels to consumers," the lawmakers wrote. "Yet due to the fact that the oil industry controls the fuel distribution infrastructure, the EPA is essentially allowing the oil industry to cap the RFS and limit future growth in the biofuels sector."
Increased fuel demand and greater availability of higher ethanol blends is more than enough justification for the EPA to increase volumes for 2017 and get the RFS back on track, they concluded.
"California and the nation have made great strides in protecting the environment, improving air quality, meeting fuel demand and creating jobs through use of biofuels under renewable fuel standards,"
Swalwell said. "The EPA must follow Congress' intent and keep up the pressure on the oil industry to provide the infrastructure needed to deliver these cleaner fuels."
to read the letter in its entirety.
(Advanced Biofuels Canada / Biocarburants avancés Canada)
Update on Canada's Low Carbon Policies
August 29, 2016
Ian Thomson, President,
Advanced Biofuels Canada
The Liberal government is working with the provincial and territorial governments on a 'pan-Canadian framework for climate action and cleantech growth' that will be the nexus for developing a Canada-wide climate action plan. Sector consultations are being wrapped up by early Fall, and a draft plan is to be presented to senior levels of government by mid-Fall.
Transportation sector actions are certain; these may be in the form on an expanded RFS or an LCFS-type structure.
The federal government confirmed in August that it will be implementing a Canada-wide 'price on carbon.' The form (carbon tax, cap and trade) to be determined in consultation with the provinces/territories.
British Columbia (BC)
The government of BC released its new Climate Leadership Plan on August 19. Selected elements include:
The LCFS is to be expanded to a 15% GHG reduction requirement by 2030 (currently 10% by 2020). A review of the current LCFS requirement will be undertaken in 2017. The May 2017 election may be a factor in the timing and nature of the review. BC is waiting to see the outcome of the Federal pan-Canadian process (above) before taking more aggressive actions.
The province has announced its intention to fund infrastructure for higher blend biofuels to promote higher biofuel adoption rates, and is enabling additional opportunities in the LCFS for the generation of credits from biofuel blending (above B5, E10).
2. The BC carbon tax ($30/t) will not be increasing at present, and will remain revenue neutral.
3. Clean Energy Vehicles: CEV program will expand to support new vehicle incentives and infrastructure as well as education and economic development initiatives:
- Charging stations: developing regulations to require new buildings to install EV charging infrastructure
- Developing policies to facilitate installing EV charging in multi-unit residential buildings
- Changing building codes to enable EV charging stations
The government released its draft Climate Change Action Plan on June 8th. It includes:
1. An update to the current 5% 'ethanol in gasoline' RFS to achieve, by 2020, an (additional) 5% reduction in GHG pollution from GHG. The form of this regulation is to be determined, but an LCFS-type structure is being assessed.
A new program to support the distribution of 'high-blend sustainable biofuels.' The government is consulting with stakeholders to establish the form of this program.
3. A new program to support increased production of renewable natural gas. This is on top of already-announced plans to invest in infrastructure/fleet conversion to natural gas fuels for heavy duty vehicles.
The government released its 2030 Energy Policy in April. Of primary interest to low carbon fuels stakeholders, the plan observes the 5% and 2% renewable content requirements respectively in gasoline and diesel fuel in all provinces west of Quebec, and the plan states that Quebec "intends to adopt such requirements and raise gradually, depending on biofuels production capacity of Québec companies."
The form of this requirement - whether as an RFS or LCFS, is to be determined. No specific timeline has been set for a plan release.
New Report Evaluates Vehicle GHG, Fuel Economy Program
The government's draft technical assessment report, a midterm evaluation of the national program for GHG emissions and fuel economy standards for light-duty cars and trucks, predicts 2025 standards are attainable with a wide range of technologies
On July 18, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board issued a joint Draft Technical Assessment Report, a midterm evaluation of the national program for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for light-duty cars and trucks.
The Draft TAR, which covers vehicle model years 2022-'25, confirms that automakers are introducing new technology to market at a fast clip, and predicts that the model-year 2022-'25 standards are attainable with a wide range of technologies.
"Despite recent EPA and California ARB compliance actions with respect to light-duty diesel NOx emissions, diesel engines remain a technology for the reduction of GHG emissions from light-duty vehicles," the midterm evaluation states. "Advances in NOx and PM emissions control technology are bringing light duty diesels fully into compliance with Federal Tier 3 and California LEV III emissions standards at a cost that is competitive with the cost-effectiveness of other high efficiency, advanced engine technologies."
In a press release issued by the Diesel Technology Forum, the organization's executive director Allen Schaeffer said, "We're extremely pleased that EPA, DOT and CARB recognize at this time especially the greenhouse gas emissions improvements in new and future clean diesel technology and fuels. Automakers and engine manufacturers have invested billions of dollars in diesel research and development to significantly improve the fuel efficiency and emissions from modern diesel vehicles. And while the Draft TAR specifically highlights advanced gasoline vehicles as being the primary source for achieving future fuel efficiency levels, we believe that new clean diesel engines will also play a key role in reaching the 2025 mileage goals."
Schaeffer added that, "Achieving the increased fuel economy standards is going to be difficult. This is a tremendous challenge for the industry. However, today clean diesel cars average about 30 percent better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts. In the light-duty truck sector, new clean diesel pickups are achieving higher mpg levels and for the first time a diesel pickup truck has reached the 30 mpg highway level. And as additional high-mileage clean diesel cars and pickup trucks are introduced in the U.S. we anticipate the diesel market to increase as will diesel's role in helping achieve the future fuel efficiency standards."
The Draft TAR states that diesel engines are continuing to evolve using technologies similar to those being introduced in new light-duty gasoline engines and heavy-duty diesel truck engines, including the use of advanced friction reduction measures; increased turbocharger boosting and engine downsizing; engine downspeeding; the use of advanced cooled EGR systems; the improved integration of charge air cooling into the air intake system; and the improved integration of exhaust emissions control systems for criteria pollutant control.
According to the draft TAR, the best brake thermal efficiency (BTE)-a measure of energy efficiency-of advanced diesel engines under development for light-duty applications is now 46 percent and thus is approaching that of heavy-duty diesel truck engines. In contrast, gasoline engines today achieve around 37 percent.
Read the original article here.
CALIFORNIA INDUSTRY NEWS
Report Highlights Rapid Growth and Significant Future Opportunity
for California's Clean Transportation Technology Industry
State's Policies Creating Jobs and Attracting Companies
(Pasadena, CA) -- A new CALSTART report indicates that California's climate and energy policies are not only helping to protect the environment and improve air quality, but are also helping to accelerate growth of the clean transportation technology industry in the state.
The report, "California's Clean Transportation Technology Industry: Time to Shift into High Gear," profiles the development of a burgeoning manufacturing sector that is producing zero- and near-zero emission light, medium and heavy duty vehicles, as well as clean fuels, engines, vehicle components, and new mobility services.
"This report shows that California's forward-looking air quality, climate, and energy policies - like AB 32 and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard - along with incentive funding are creating jobs and making California a leader in the fast growing global clean transportation technology industry," said CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel. "What we are finally seeing is a tremendous synergy between the state's policies, its culture of innovation, and its human capital. These factors together over the past five to seven years have created nearly 20,000 new high quality jobs in the state," Boesel said.
Among many other signs of recent progress, the report notes that since the great recession, California has become home to the first successful new US car manufacturing since the end of World War II; California was selected as the first state to host a vehicle production plant owned by a Chinese company; and a South Carolina firm has effectively moved its headquarters to California and is in the process of building an electric bus manufacturing plant because of the opportunities in the state.
The report inventories over 300 companies that are creating high quality jobs, building new manufacturing facilities, and making major investments in California. Examined in detail are three regions, the South Coast, San Joaquin Valley, and Silicon Valley.
Executives profiled in the report see enormous potential for industry growth in California. They predict that thousands of additional high-quality jobs will be added to the industry's current base of over 20,000 as the industry ramps up manufacturing between now and 2030.
"The clean transportation technology industry is growing faster in California than in any other state. What is especially exciting is that the industry is adding new jobs in communities such as Pixley, Perris, Lathrop, and Riverside," said Boesel.
The report notes that while California is the third largest oil producing state in the nation, it imports more than half of the oil it consumes. On a comparative basis, California is more dependent on foreign oil than is the nation as a whole.
"By growing the clean transportation technology industry, over the next decade we could eliminate the state's dependence on foreign oil and keep 50 percent of our transportation energy dollars in state. Growing this industry represents a win-win and an enormous economic opportunity for the State of California," Boesel said.
According to the report, the chief threat to the future growth of the clean transportation industry is the possibility of a change in policy or direction. The report concludes that establishing long-term goals and a commitment to achieving the state's air quality and climate goals will continue to drive investment, innovation, and job growth in the state. The report recommends codifying the state's 2050 climate target, setting 2030 goals for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and continuing the successful greenhouse gas AB 32 cap and trade program.
The report may be found
CALSTART is a non-profit organization that is focused on energy security, clean air, and economic development by spurring the growth of the clean transportation technology industry. CALSTART has three offices in California, as well as ones in Colorado and New York. For more information about CALSTART and its 160+ member companies visit: www.calstart.org.
Albertsons Companies Increases the Use of Biodiesel for its Truck Fleets
Posted July 27, 2016
As one of the country's largest food and drug retailers, Albertsons Companies is actively pursuing the goal of reducing waste and minimizing our environmental impact. We look for opportunities to lower the carbon footprint in our stores, offices, facilities and distribution centers across all of our banners (including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Pavilions).
We have identified the conversion of used cooking oil from our stores as a unique way to not only reduce our waste stream, but also to reduce our environmental footprint. Since 2010, some of our Safeway, Vons and Pavilions stores throughout California have been recycling used cooking oil by converting it to biodiesel to power our truck fleets. By using biodiesel as a fuel in our truck fleets, we reduce the amount of conventional diesel we purchase, in addition to lowering our overall emissions. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, biodiesel could lower greenhouse gas emissions by 52% when compared to petroleum diesel.
Once the cooking oil is collected, we work with vendors who process the oil and convert it to biodiesel. In 2015 alone, we collected more than 481,000 gallons of used cooking oil from our stores. Our biodiesel use has increased over 50% in the last five years. In fact, the program has been so successful that we will soon start using the excess biodiesel produced to also fuel the Albertsons store fleet served by our Brea and Irvine Distribution Centers. According to Tom Nartker, Albertsons Companies Vice President of Transportation, "We're really excited to expand this program to our Albertsons fleet in Southern California."
We continue to explore new technologies and opportunities that could reduce our transportation footprint. For example, we tested several trucks at our distribution center in Southern California that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG burns as a cleaner fuel compared to diesel and produces 26% less greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of our inbound third-party trucks are also registered as US EPA SmartWay certified carriers. This program recognizes businesses for operating in the most fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible way.