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California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  


December 2016     

In This Issue

CBA is very excited to end 2016 by welcoming three new board member companies here and in the Member section below. We welcome Clay Bryant of Diamond Green Diesel and David Dobbins of Pilot Travel Centers to CBA's board of directors. Also, we are pleased that long-standing board member Joe Gershen will continue his service to CBA and is now representing his own company, Encore BioRenewables.

Not unexpected when we went to press last month, t he federal budget deal was passed with an extension until April 28th and without some three dozen tax breaks, including the biodiesel tax credit. The LA Times article "California biodiesel companies hunker down - and hope" quotes CBA Chair, Jennifer Case, on the chilling effect this has on California businesses as well as NBB staff on their commitment to working with the incoming administration to promote the benefits of biodiesel and protect supportive federal policy.

Retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, who "believes climate change is a security threat and catalyzed the military's fuel efficiency efforts,"  is Trump's greenest cabinet choice so far. C oncern for the future of the RFS has grown with each new pick. We include an article in which Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, reverses his widely reported assertion  last month that because RFS support is established in rural areas, the regulation would be "solid" under a Trump administration -- and calls for vigilance! 

In California, Governor Jerry Brown  predicts a "negative, and very powerful reaction" around the world if Trump halts climate change action, and said that " California will launch its own damn satellite" if Trump tries to  obstruct the state's efforts to halt climate change. And after last year's bruising legislative battles with big oil, the California Democratic Party has said it won't take any more political donations from oil companies or their representatives in Sacramento We include an article on what it means for our state's climate policies now that both houses of the state legislature are  two-thirds Democratic.  

As always, there's lots more on state and federal issues, much of it packed into the 
policy section, which has updates on the Senate subcommittee hearing on the GAO reports, new EPA comment deadlines for the REGS and Point of Obligation RFS rulemakings, and more. 



Note: You are receiving this newsletter because your company/organization or individual membership is current or you are a Partner Sponsor. We are also making this complete version of the newsletter available to state agency staff who have signed up to receive our newsletters. Our  Members Only  webpage is now available to you using the password 2006 - the year CBA was founded.
Back Issues of this newsletter are available in the Archives on our Members Only webpage. 
Join Us!
 "California's Thriving Low-Carbon Markets"
CBA Session and Member Meeting at NBB Conference
San Diego, January 17th, 2:30 - 4:00 pm 
CBA logo
CBA is excited to announce a special session at the 2017 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego on January 17th from 2:30 - 4:00 pm. We encourage CBA members and non-members to join us. 

CBA's Chair,  Jennifer Case of New Leaf Biofuel, will moderate.  CBA's lobbyist, Louie Brown, will frame the discussion with a review of  California's unique  policy environment. This LCFS session and member meeting is not to be missed by anyone doing or thinking of doing business in California! 

  • Louie Brown, Partner, Kahn, Soares, Conway, LLP
    Overview of policies impacting biodiesel in California
  • Ryan Lamberg, California Biodiesel Initiative / NBB technical contractor
    The current and expected growth of biodiesel use in California
  • Cynthia ObadiaCynthia Obadia Consulting
    How biodiesel is in competition with other sectors under technology neutral CA policies 
  • Greg StaitiWeaver & Tidwell LLP
    Practical tips to comply with California's complex rules and regulations

See details of the NBB conference schedule  here

Learn How Low Biodiesel's Carbon Intensity Score Can Go 
  All New Conf Logo
T H R I V E !
March 1, 2017 -- Capitol Ballroom, Sacramento 

With a focus on how businesses can thrive 
in the state's growing biodiesel market, CBA brings a host of experts, beginning with a panel of heavy-hitters discussing the technical issues related to carbon intensity scoring under LCFS.  

9:00 - 10:00  Biodiesel's Carbon Intensity: How Low Can It Go?  
  Moderator: Curtis Wrigh t, Biotane Fuels Division Manager, Imperial Western Products
  • Anil Prabhu, Manager, Fuels Evaluation Section, California Air Resources Board: 
    Feedstocks as a Determinate in LCFS Carbon Intensity
  • Shashi Menon, Managing Partner, EcoEngineers 
    Carbon Intensity Verification and Enforcement under LCFS   
  • Don O'Connor, (S&T)2 Consultants Inc.
    What factors affect the final CI score and how much impact do each have? 
  • Don Scott, Director of Sustainability, NBB
    Biodiesel Sustainability and iLUC Issues

 -- CBA Corporate Members who join or renew membership in CBA for 2017 will receive the Comp Code for 1-3 free conference registrations (depending on their membership level benefit).
 -- CBA Individual Members who join or renew membership in CBA for 2017 will receive the Discount Code to attend the conference for $295.
See our Join Us page for details

ARB Releases New CI Scores
All  CA-GREET 1.8b CIs to Sunset on December 31, 2016

Cal/EPa Building
On December 20th, ARB staff released their latest new carbon intensity (CI) pathway certifications for sugarcane ethanol and biodiesel.

The list of CIs at the link below includes all those certified using CA-GREET 2.0 (required under the readopted LCFS regulation)and all active pathway CIs certified under CA-GREET 1.8b, which are eligible to earn credits through December 31, 2016 and will sunset after that date. 
This month, as required by the readoption of the LCFS, ARB staff sent out "a final notification that all Method 1 and Method 2A/2B pathway carbon intensities (CI) originally certified using CA-GREET 1.8b will sunset on December 31, 2016. All Fuel Pathway Codes (FPCs) corresponding to such pathways will be deactivated from the Alternative Fuels Portal (AFP) and will not be available to report in the LCFS Reporting Tool and Credit Bank & Transfer System (LRT-CBTS) effective 1st quarter, 2017. However, to ensure reporting of fuel transactions for Q4, 2016, these pathway FPCs will remain active in the LRT-CBTS through the end of the reporting period for Q4, 2016.

An excel spreadsheet of all pathways which were not recertified can be obtained from the LCFS website at https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/fuelpathways/pathwaytable.htm. This sheet will be separate from an excel spreadsheet that includes pathways with active CIs for reporting purposes. Fuel pathways recertified in 2016 and all new pathway applications certified in 2016 using the CA-GREET 2.0 model are not subject to the current deactivation date.

Applicants who intend to pursue new fuel pathways may submit Tier 1 or Tier 2 applications using the AFP. Please consult the following guidance document when applying for a new pathway: https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/fuelpathways/newpathway-01062016.pdf

If you have any questions about fuel pathway CIs, please contact Anil Prabhu, Manager, Fuels Evaluation Section, Transportation Fuels Branch at  (916) 445-9227 or via e-mail at

Democrats Capture Supermajority:  Will Climate Get a Boost?

Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter

Published: Monday, December 5, 2016

California Democrats have clinched a two-thirds supermajority in the state Legislature, a win that's expected to breathe new life into the drive to bolster a landmark climate program.

Democrats secured a two-thirds margin in the Senate last week when final vote counts showed Democrat Josh Newman defeated Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) in a district located mostly in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. The party had nabbed the supermajority in the Assembly a week earlier.

That means Democrats, without Republican help, theoretically have the votes needed to pass new taxes or fees. Under state law, those require a two-thirds margin.

Getting two-thirds agreement on anything controversial will be difficult, several familiar with state legislative history said. But Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and his supporters are likely to see it as an opening to cement into law the authority of the state's market-based, cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions. Passing it through legislation could resolve court challenges and boost confidence that it would remain in effect past 2020, green group advocates said.

"There's no question that the governor is going to make a major push for legislation reauthorizing cap and trade," said Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air. "He would much rather go the legislative route because it provides more certainty for the program going forward."

Cap and trade, which auctions pollution permits to businesses with the highest carbon emissions, has generated several billion dollars in state revenues. Those are funding development of a high-speed rail line, affordable housing near transit, programs to get people into cleaner cars and other efforts.

Legislature leaders did not say exactly what's on their new agenda but said they're committed to defending California priorities as Republican President-elect Donald Trump takes office. He's called climate change a "hoax" and has said he's planning to dismantle the Obama administration's climate policies.

"With this election result, the voters of California are sending a historically robust Democratic majority to the Senate and have sent a loud and clear message they want us to continue California's exceptional progress," Anthony Reyes, spokesman for state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D), said in an email.

"The world changed on Election Day and now we need every Senate Democrat stepping in and speaking out to defend the people and progress we've made in California from a Trump Administration that appears hell bent on threatening our values and prosperity," he added. "We intend to act quickly, decisively and as a united front to face down any threat to the values Californians hold dear."

Those familiar with legislative priorities said cap and trade or some alternative that targets emissions is likely to be on the table. The exact option that would be pursued isn't clear.

"There's a lot of interest in getting a consistent and predictable revenue stream for climate mitigation in California secured," said Alvaro Sanchez, director of environmental equity at the Greenlining Institute, which focuses on racial and economic justice.

There have been questions, he said, about whether raising money by selling allowances under cap and trade is legally sound, and whether the money is funding the right programs.

"The two-thirds [vote] removes all of that uncertainty and makes it a bulletproof approach," Sanchez said.

Earlier vote count fell short

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) originally approved cap and trade as a mechanism to meet the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals through 2020. It requires companies with the biggest greenhouse gas emissions to submit allowances for their pollution. Those are sold in quarterly auctions. The California Chamber of Commerce and others have filed suit to stop it, arguing the auctions are a tax that needed a two-thirds vote. It also contends ARB lacks the authority to hold the auctions. That case is pending.

Brown earlier this year looked at the option of passing cap and trade as law. It came as the Legislature approved S.B. 32, which set greenhouse gas targets through 2030. It requires the state to reduce its carbon emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the most aggressive target in the country.

But lawmakers balked at amending the bill to specifically authorize the use of market-based programs to get to those new goals. As a result, S.B. 32 does not explicitly approve continuing the cap-and-trade program. Brown at the time said he hadn't decided yet whether to aim for a separate Legislature vote on cap and trade or to take it directly to the voters via a ballot measure in 2018 (ClimatewireAug. 25).

Aides to the governor said they weren't ready yet to talk about their plans for the supermajority.

"There'll be more from us on the year ahead and priorities when the budget is released and state of the state remarks are delivered in January," said Brown spokesman Evan Westrup.

After Trump's election, Brown asserted that, "as Californians ... we will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time - devastating climate change."

ARB, meanwhile, just released a draft proposal for how to reach the 2030 goals. It recommends extending cap and trade, though it said that the agency should also look at a carbon tax or more direct regulations as options. Those direct rules could include emissions standards for industrial sources, refineries, and the rest of the oil and gas sector (see related story).

There's the hope that the existence of the supermajority would put pressure on business interests to negotiate on legislation. If they sense it might pass, they'll want to help shape a measure, said Ann Notthoff, California advocacy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"If you see that there's a strong chance that a price on carbon is going to extend beyond 2020, you're going to want to be at the table," Notthoff said.

The Western States Petroleum Association, a trade group for oil companies, opposed S.B. 32. A spokesman did not respond to inquiries about the supermajority and whether WSPA would fight efforts to pass cap and trade as law.

The California Chamber of Commerce opposes the auction component of the state's cap-and-trade program. The state could set a carbon cap and give away allowances. The cap would drive greenhouse gas emissions cuts, said Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a project of the chamber.

The auction part, with the state keeping revenues, is a tax, he said.

"What we disagree with, and what our lawsuit reflects, is that you can't have an auction without a two-thirds vote," Kaye said. If there is a proposal next year to pass cap and trade with an auction in it, "we would look at it on the merits."

Will all in Democratic two-thirds Legislature agree?

Democrats in California's Legislature had supermajorities in both houses for a brief period in 2012. But on some environmental votes, moderate Democrats with businesses interests in mind wouldn't go along with the liberal wing.

Getting a two-thirds vote will be a tough haul, the Coalition for Clean Air's Magavern said. It will mean getting every Democrat in the Senate and all but one in the Assembly to vote yes. There is a two-thirds-plus-one Democratic majority in that chamber. The other option is to persuade a few Republicans to agree.

Sanchez, however, said he sees reasons to feel optimistic. The revenue from cap and trade has funded new trees, transit, affordable housing and other investments in communities all over the state.

"These policies are delivering tangible benefits to all communities," Sanchez said.
What's not clear yet is whether lawmakers will see a relationship between cap and trade and those projects, he said.

Those wanting to make cap and trade law via legislation could be helped by the fact that S.B. 32 is law, Magavern said. That means California has to reach the tougher emissions-cut targets, and oil companies would prefer that happen through cap and trade rather than direct regulations.

In the recent election, some seats went to more progressive Democrats over ones that previously voted more conservatively, said Steve Maviglio, a Democratic strategist in California.

They include Democrat Eloise Reyes, who in an Assembly race defeated incumbent and fellow Democrat Cheryl Brown. Last year, Brown was among the Democrats who opposed a provision in a measure, S.B. 350, that would have ordered cutting petroleum use in motor vehicles in half by 2030. It was eventually dropped from the bill due to lack of support.

"She was very vocal about opposing that element," said Kathryn Phillips, director of the Sierra Club's California chapter.

Oil interests backed Brown in the race. The Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes spent more than $1 million in support of her re-election. It received money from Chevron Corp., Tesoro Cos. Inc., Valero Energy Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp. Brown also took direct campaign funding from Chevron, Tesoro and the California Independent Petroleum Association political action committee.

Gas tax adjustments

Democratic leaders are also likely to look at using the supermajority to pass a bill funding transportation infrastructure. The state, like many others, has found that revenues from gasoline and diesel taxes have been falling.

People are driving more efficient cars, and there are more electric vehicles. Efforts to raise the tax and come up with an alternative or supplemental funding mechanism haven't worked.

Notthoff with NRDC said any funding package would have to align with climate goals and "make sure we're not just putting more cars on the roads" and that there's also money going to additional public transit options.
Study Finds California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard 
Replacing Biofuels Blends

By  Jon LeSage   December 6, 2016
A new study suggests that California's low carbon fuel standard is winning out as a viable measure over the federal government's biofuel blends.

While biofuel blends in gasoline and diesel have been the national standard for years, a new study by Lux Research finds that California's low carbon fuel standard may become the norm for government policies to meet emissions reduction goals. The study says that "a new generation of policies is based on technology-agnostic carbon intensity metrics."

The report examined 470 fuel pathways in California Air Resources Board's (CARB) Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to identify technology developments and opportunities in low-carbon fuels. There will be no preferred feedstock (such as corn from the Midwest), conversion process, or final fuel product. Lux believes that well-to-wheel analysis will become the analytical model as more government regulations and policies use a fuel's carbon intensity as the benchmark.

Renewable diesel and conventional electricity will be the near-term winners in low-carbon transportation fuels according to the report, followed by renewable electricity in a close third. Renewable electricity comes from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, while conventional electricity can come from coal, natural gas, nuclear, and petroleum.

Canada seems to agree with Lux Research. In late November, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna announced that the country will adopt a national clean fuels standard. The national standard looked at adoption of similar guidelines in California, Oregon, and British Columbia, according to a report.

The carbon intensity model measures the amount of carbon by weight emitted per unit of energy consumed. By measuring well-to-wheels, feedstock, process technology, and power sources are included. Lux Research also included technology viability in its assessment.

"Energy companies with diversified energy portfolios are well-positioned to take advantage of this paradigm change, shifting towards renewable sources to reduce carbon intensity values," said Yuan-Sheng Yu, Lux Research Analyst and lead author of the report titled, "Identifying Winners in Low-Carbon Fuels."

"With electricity a near-term winner, pioneers for the 'utility of the future' hold a strong position moving forward," he added.

California has been seeing a lot of applications of the low carbon fuel standard by municipalities, fleets, and several fuel suppliers, operating in the state. Currently, the state is allowing seven different low-carbon fuels from 26 different feedstocks, making up 11.3 percent of its fuel consumption, according to the report.

The study found that waste oil halves biodiesel's carbon intensity. Biodiesel derived from fats, oil and grease has the capacity to cut carbon intensity and have up to 2.5 billion gallons a year available. Processing poor quality waste adds to the cost, but this type of clean diesel remains a significant opportunity, the study said.

Lux also sees biogas, which can include renewable diesel and renewable natural gas, presenting commercially viable clean fuel opportunities.

"With California's large transportation fuel market as a draw, improved biogas technologies as well as similar carbon-negative fuel pathways will emerge to expedite carbon emissions reduction," the study said.
US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Expresses Concern 
About the Future of the RFS

Posted December 20, 2016

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he is concerned about the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal mandate that requires ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the nation's fuel supply, according to media reports in the Des Moines Register.

President-elect Donald Trump nominated two RFS opponents to key agencies: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is slated to lead the Energy Department and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is tapped for the US Environmental Protection Agency.

"There have been a series of mixed signals about the Renewable Fuel Standard," Vilsack said during a Des Moines Register editorial board meeting Monday. "It predated the election, and it's not been cleared up with the appointments."

Iowa's former governor said the oil industry's attack on the RFS has been comprehensive - through regulations, the courts and public opinion.

"There's been an ongoing effort on the part of the oil industry to get rid of the Renewable Fuel Standard," Vilsack said. "I think people who are supportive of the renewable fuel standard should be incredibly vigilant now."

Industry Welcomes Updated Department of Energy Biodiesel Guide
NREL report a comprehensive guide for biodiesel users
Nov 30, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. - The biodiesel industry welcomed the publication of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) fifth edition of the Biodiesel Handling and Use Guide, developed in conjunction with the DOE Clean Cities program. The guide is a comprehensive document designed to educate those who blend, distribute, and use biodiesel and biodiesel blends. It provides basic information on the proper and safe use of biodiesel in engines and boilers, and is intended to help fleets, individual users, blenders, distributors, and those involved in related activities understand procedures for handling and using biodiesel fuels.

"This guide is an important tool for the industry as we see biodiesel volumes in the marketplace continue to grow," said Scott Fenwick, technical director at the National Biodiesel Board. "More American's are using biodiesel than ever before, and reliable, accurate information is critical for the fuel supply chain all the way down to end users."

The guide is prepared by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. A full copy of the guide  can be downloaded here  or by visiting  cleancities.energy.gov/publications.

How California Regulates Biodiesel in ASTs 

In response to questions from CBA members on the issue of biodiesel storage in aboveground storage tanks (AST), CBA has been in touch with several key organizations, including CAL FIRE - Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), Underwriter's Laboratory (UL), and the Steel Tank Institute.

ASTs in California are regulated under the state fire code and implemented by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), which are typically local fire code officials. OSFM does not prohibit aboveground storage of biodiesel at the state level and the OSFM is not aware of problems with B6-B20 in ASTs. The only reason biodiesel would be prohibited is if the local authority having jurisdiction (such as the local fire code official) does not allow ASTs within their jurisdiction; there may be a few jurisdictions that don't allow ASTs under a local ordinance.

The new CalEPA Fuels Guidance document - written by a multi-agency group consisting of the main state regulatory agencies overseeing motor vehicle fuels in commerce in California - states that "Dispensers shall be listed by an approved and recognized organization such as Underwriters Laboratories. Electrical equipment, hose, nozzles and submersible or subsurface pumps used in fuel-dispensing systems shall be listed." In general, the fire code requires that motor fuel dispensing facilities have their equipment listed or approved for use with the fuel being dispensed.  OSFM has confirmed that this includes tanks. 

The new fifth edition of the DOE's Biodiesel Handling-and-Use Guide includes a chart on page 62 of UL B20 listed equipment for "Aboveground Equipment" including "Dispensers, Hanging Hardware, Shear Valves, Submersible Turbine Pumps."

Regarding aboveground tanks, there are no UL approvals for B20 in ASTs per se. B20 is generally in the same fire code hazard class as diesel: Class II liquid (combustible liquid). ASTs must be designed and constructed in accordance with recognized engineering standards (such as UL 142, UL 2080, and UL 2085 for ASTs storing flammable and combustible liquids). Engineering staff at UL has confirmed that "Products in UL category  EEEV (Aboveground Flammable-liquid Tanks) are approved for use with B20."  

Importantly, most ASTs are made of stainless steel or carbon steel. Staff at the Steel Tank Institute (STI) has confirmed that  the compatibility statements listed on their website apply to aboveground tanks as well as USTs.


Diamond Green Diesel Logo

Diamond Green Diesel  is a renewable hydrocarbon diesel producer located in Norco, LA.

Encore Logo

Encore BioRenewables is working to develop and commercialize the use of sustainable, recyclable and renewable products and solutions to promote a zero-waste, low-carbon future.

Pilot Logo




At ARB's December 16th public workshop on the 2030 Target Scoping Plan Discussion Draft, staff presented their latest thinking on how to achieve SB 32's climate goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. CBA is working closely with NBB to involve national experts and engaging with ARB staff on issues of concern to our industry.  


CBA continues its leadership of the CA Cap and Trade Biofuels Initiative coalition. This effort works to secure in-state biofuels incentive funding from Cap and Trade auction proceeds, which are allocated through the state budget, specifically ARB's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund  (GGRF). We will provide updates as our efforts for the next legislative session develop.


The ADF regulation, which became effective January 1, 2016, includes reporting and recordkeeping requirements applicable to entities in the biodiesel industry. Biodiesel producers, importers and blenders must submit quarterly reports.  Biodiesel producers, importers and blenders are required to report and keep records concerning biodiesel production, sales, and blending. Biodiesel distributors and retailers are only required to keep records. 
Find the current FAQ and Reporting Forms at:

T he presentation for the ARB May 23rd, 2016 public workshop, which has detailed diagrams, is here:  http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/diesel/altdiesel/meetings/meetings.htm. 

NOTE: Most in-state biodiesel fuel businesses are required to register under the Air Resources Board's Motor Vehicle Fuel Distributor program (MVDP). See the article on our Members Only page.

See article above. 

ARB publishes monthly LCFS credit transfer activity reports on the second Tuesday of every month:  https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/credit/lrtmonthlycreditreports.htm .

Staff also publishes weekly LCFS credit transfer activity reports on the Tuesday of every week:  https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/credit/lrtweeklycreditreports.htm .


Last month, CBA submitted comments on the CEC's ARFVTP's proposed 2017-18 Investment Plan Update which included several corrections, clarifications and suggestions. The CEC is expected to make awards for the recent biofuels solicitation In early Q1 2017. CBA will announce those as soon as they are available.



Please contact the Washington office of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) at  202-737-8801  for questions on federal policy issues. Click on the NBB  Fueling Action  logo for detailed information. 
NBB Fueling Action Logo
Federal Tax Incentive
See Greeting section above.

US EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
See article above. 

US EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Senate Subcommittee Hearing on GAO Reports

According to the NBB: "Last week, the Government Accountability Office issued two reports related to the implementation of the RFS program.  The reports were done at the request of the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management.  On December 1, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the results of the reports, which generally found that the advanced biofuel targets in the statute, which were to reach 21 billion gallons by 2022 mostly through cellulosic biofuels, are not likely to be met. The hearing included testimony from Frank Rusco, GAO Director Natural Resources and Environment, and Janet McCabe, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. The Chairman of the Subcommittee is Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and the Ranking Member is Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). At the hearing, Sen. Heitkamp and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) made comments in support of the RFS, noting that the program is still relatively young. There was much discussion at the hearing about the need for certainty in federal policy, including tax policy, to help support increased production of advanced biofuels. 

While many of the concerns in the GAO reports centered around cellulosic biofuels, several of the Subcommittee members acknowledged the success of the biodiesel industry in increasing its production under the RFS program. Feedstock supply was noted as potential issue for biodiesel, but the GAO reports provided little discussion of this issue for biodiesel and did not recognize the increased diversity and ongoing innovation in the industry. EPA's Janet McCabe noted the increase in advanced biofuels and the flexibility the statute provides for EPA to address the issues raised by the GAO reports. NBB provided information on the success of the biodiesel industry under the RFS and the need for regulatory certainty to staff of members of the Committee, attended the hearing, and intends to submit more formal comments for the record."

US EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Point of Obligation -  Comment Period Extended

According to the US EPA: "On November 22, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") published a Notice of its proposed denial of several petitions requesting that EPA initiate a rulemaking process to reconsider or change its regulations that identify refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel fuel as the entities responsible for complying with the annual percentage standards adopted under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The Notice invited public comment on this proposal by January 23, 2017-60 days after publication of the Notice in the Federal Register. On December 13, 2016, the EPA received a request from the Small Retailers Coalition to extend the comment period by 30 days to allow its members to provide thorough comments and data. In light of the importance of this issue, the EPA is extending the deadline for written comments an additional 30 days to February 22, 2017. DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 22, 2017." 
US EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) Rule - Comment Period Extended 
According to the US EPA: "On November 16, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) rule. The proposal specified that the public comment period would end on January 17, 2017-60 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register. On December 9, 2016, the EPA received a joint request for an extension of the comment period from the following parties: American Soybean Association, Corn Refiners Association, Global Renewable Strategies and Consulting, LLC, Growth Energy, Iowa Biodiesel Board, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, National Biodiesel Board, National Renderers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, and U.S. Canola Association. The petitioners requested an extension in order to have more time to evaluate the implications of the REGS rule. In light of the large number of revisions proposed in this action, the EPA is extending the deadline for written comments on the proposal by 30 days to February 16, 2017. DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 16, 2017. "

US EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Argentinian Imports 

This month, NBB's petition for review of EPA's approval of an alternative renewable biomass tracking program for soybean-based biodiesel from Argentina was denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. According to the NBB: "The program replaces the individual recordkeeping requirements under the RFS regulations, and was approved without notice and comment to the public.  NBB had significant concerns about the approval process and the program itself, prompting the request for judicial review.  We are reviewing the decision to consider NBB's options."

Thank you for your engagement and support of CBA and for your time and effort on behalf of our industry. I look forward to continuing to work with you.

Celia DuBose
Executive Director
California Biodiesel Alliance (CBA)