California Biodiesel Alliance News
California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association
We are pleased to begin with the news release from our Gold Partner Sponsor, the National Biodiesel Board, on the new ARB-approved additive that will allow blends up to B20 in the state under the ADF regulation requirements that begin January 1, 2018. And i
n a special section below, we thank all of our 2017 Partner Sponsors for their generous support!
CBA had the opportunity to thank Governor Brown in person during a meeting with his staff - and we do so here, as well!
This issue includes an article about the special significance of the new Cap and Trade legislation for biofuels in California. The recent California Delivers LCFS Support Letter, which cites a study saying that the stronger the LCFS, the cheaper Cap and Trade allowances become, is included as a fact-filled reminder of the fundamental importance of that sister climate program.
Important federal news includes articles on the RFS - for which the NBB has organized impressive testimony to take place at the EPA's DC hearing on August 1st -
and on the issue of Argentinian imports. Also, in the policy blurbs is info on the new LCFS amendments hearing on
on our latest efforts on USTs, and much more.
Back Issues of this newsletter are available in the Archives on our Members Only webpage.
(Special article by the National Biodiesel Board, CBA
New Additive Hands Biodiesel the Win as Cleanest Fuel in the U.S.
CARB Approval Makes America's Advanced Biofuel
Key to Meet Carbon Reduction Goals
Sacramento - The California Air Resource Board announced on July 20, 2017 that it has certified a biodiesel additive that will make B20 blends in California the cleanest proven and tested diesel fuel with the lowest emissions profile available anywhere in the U.S.
"Biodiesel has been a key to help California meet its intense carbon reduction goals. With this announcement, America's Advanced Biofuel will continue to deliver a cleaner burning, American made alternative under the state's low carbon fuel standard," said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. "Biodiesel will gladly take the role as the cleanest certified diesel fuel available."
The additive takes already clean-burning biodiesel and ensures it reduces every measurable regulated emission, including NOx, when blended with California's unique diesel formulation called CARB diesel. NBB led the initial research and development into the additive to maintain biodiesel's competitive advantage under the state's low carbon fuel standard.
Branded VESTA™1000, the CARB certified additive ensures compliance with the January 1, 2018 implementation of CARB's Alternative Diesel Fuel Regulation. A 20 percent blend of biodiesel with VESTA™ 1000 reduced NOx by 1.9 percent and particulate matter by 18 percent compared to CARB diesel fuel. California Fueling, LLC will produce the formula, and Pacific Fuel Resource, LLC will deliver the product to market. The two companies will work cooperatively with NBB members as well as those in the California fuel community to support the ongoing use of biodiesel diesel blends up to B20.
"This impressive NBB-led effort, over the course of the past eighteen months, has resulted in a first-of-a-kind CARB approval, which enables biodiesel to be the renewable fuel of choice to meet California's stringent LCFS carbon reduction requirements," said Pat McDuff, President, California Fueling, LLC.
"As a result of this effort, biodiesel will continue to play a major role in helping Californians meet their renewable energy and clean air goals," said Paul Nazzaro, President, Pacific Fuel Resource, LLC. "By increasing biodiesel use up to a B20 blend, estimated to be an additional 600 million gallons of cleaner-burning biodiesel annually, California can now achieve its goals under the LCFS."
For information about VESTA™1000, valuation, additive access, purchasing and market development please Contact Paul Nazzaro at 978-438-6090 or
NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.
Cap and Trade Extension
Protects LCFS and Prioritizes Low Carbon Transportation Funding
In some of the biggest news to come out of California since the Trump presidency began, this month's extremely skillful bipartisan passage of Cap and Trade expansion and extension bills is being hailed as an example that President Trump should study and follow.
in a colorful ceremony with Arnold
on San Francisco's Treasure Island in the same place where the former Governor in 2006 signed AB 32, the overarching legislation that laid
the foundation for the state's climate programs. Brown said, "California is leading the world in dealing with the principal existential threat that humanity faces." Schwarzenegger told Republicans resisting climate science to "Stop lying to the people." The next day in Bell Gardens, the Governor signed companion bill AB 617, which will address air pollution in communities hardest hit by toxic air pollution.
California's embattled Cap and Trade program, which requires utilities, factories, and other stationary sources to buy permits to release greenhouse gasses (GHG), is a key element of the state's plan to reduce GHGs by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The program is now protected from charges that it is an illegal tax, having been secured with the two-thirds vote required for new taxes; it has been extended to 2030; and important new air quality requirements are included in
AB 617, which address
environmental justice advocates
' concerns about criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants in
the state's most polluted neighborhoods.
The Cap and Trade program does not regulate mobile sources, but the new legislation includes two elements with important implications for the biodiesel industry.
First, California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which is a huge incentive for biodiesel in the state but has also been under attack since its inception, is now protected in a way it has never been. It is now included in statue as part of the new Cap and Trade legislation (not just as an executive order) and extended to 2030.
Second, Cap and Trade, which generates billions of dollars a year for carbon reduction programs in the state, for the first time now includes language that auction proceeds be prioritized for low carbon transportation. This is great news for the Biofuels Initiative Coalition effort that CBA started in 2015, which is working to get auction proceeds from the program to fund incentives for in-state biodiesel production.
Those funds are allocated through the regular state budget process by way of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). The Governor's office will work during the summer on a spending plan to be presented in August for a vote of the legislature before they leave for break in September. CBA has already begun to engage with ARB staff on their portion of the GGRF budget and with the Biofuels Coalition and key players to make the case for state funding to support increasing the many benefits that biofuels bring to the state.
Watch this space for updates.
(California Air Resources Board)
CARB Approves Cap-and-Trade Improvements
Changes include program improvements, linking with Ontario
July 27, 2017
SACRAMENTO - Following more than 18 months of review and public comment, the California Air Resources Board today approved amendments to the state's cap-and-trade program that improve its implementation and the state's effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Today's amendments also establish a framework for the program's annual limits on greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, to be revised in a subsequent, public rulemaking process to reflect the requirements of AB 398.
"These amendments build upon the existing, effective design to further support California businesses and strengthen our capacity to cut air pollution in the communities where it is needed most,"
said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. "We look forward to continued collaboration with the many, diverse stakeholders who came together to pass AB 398 as we work to ensure its equitable, thoughtful implementation."
Today's Board action includes adopting amendments have been in development since late 2015, and were first heard by the Board in September 2016. The amendments include linking with Ontario, which launched its own cap-and-trade program earlier this year.
The Canadian province is expected to link with California's program in 2018, becoming the second jurisdiction to join California following Quebec in 2014. Additionally, the Oregon legislature is considering a measure to establish a cap-and-trade system that is compatible with California's.
Other amendments adopted by the Board address how carbon allowances are allocated to prevent economic and emissions "leakage" (i.e., the risk that an industry would move operations out of state due to competitive disadvantage) and streamline other requirements of the current program.
This week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a legislative package extending the cap-and-trade program through 2030 (AB 398) and establishing a new program to improve air quality in local communities (AB 617). The legislation helps ensure California continues to meet its ambitious climate change goals while addressing air pollution in communities with the dirtiest air.
CARB will begin its new rulemaking process later this year to implement the requirements of AB 398 and reflect the Legislature's direction in extending the program through 2030.
"By acting today, the board ensures the seamless operation of the cap-and-trade program while we continue to move ahead on the changes that AB 398 require that we make," Nichols said during today's hearing.
In addition to the AB 398 rulemaking process, CARB is also beginning to work with stakeholders on the implementation of AB 617. AB 617 directs CARB to work with local air districts on the deployment of community-focused air quality monitoring networks, as well as the development and implementation of community emission reduction plans in the neighborhoods most burdened by
poor air quality.
Cap-and-trade is a market-based regulation that is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from multiple sources in the most cost effective way possible. The declining statewide cap on emissions ensures California will meet its emission reduction goals, while trading puts a price on carbon and creates economic incentives for investments in clean technologies and clean energy.
California's cap-and-trade program, which began in 2013, is part of a suite of policy tools originally designed to achieve the goal of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. California is on track to achieve its 2020 goal. Last year, Governor Brown signed SB 32, which sets a goal of reducing emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the most ambitious goal in North America.
Through the cap-and-trade program, the state has launched California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment-particularly in disadvantaged communities. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities.
CBA joins more than 500 California Delivers members and partners who
reaffirm unwavering support of the LCFS
California Delivers LCFS Support Letter
July 7, 2017
Dear Governor Brown, Senate President pro Tempore De León and Speaker Rendon,
On behalf of our diverse coalition of businesses, workers, community and faith leaders, and advocates for public health, consumers, low-income families and the environment, we are writing to reaffirm our unwavering support of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires transportation fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuel 10 percent by 2020.
The transportation sector is responsible for 37 percent of the state's carbon pollution; roughly 32 million cars, trucks and buses traverse our roads every day, also contributing to smog and soot particles that pollute the air we breathe.
The LCFS is critical to helping achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to meet our state's 2020 climate goals pursuant to AB 32. And it's working: cumulatively through 2016 the LCFS has helped the state avoid about 26 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon emissions.
1 Looking forward, state modeling shows continued and additional emission reductions are needed to meet our 2030 goals, pursuant to SB 32.
The LCFS works in concert with regulatory measures such as the Clean Cars Program and Renewables Portfolio Standard, as well as with market measures such as cap and trade. We need all of these complementary measures to meet our necessary targets. In fact, new research by ICF Consulting confirms that our state's carbon market works far better in tandem with a stronger LCFS. The stronger the LCFS, the study finds, the cheaper cap-and-trade allowances become:
- An LCFS with a 20 percent carbon intensity reduction target cuts the overall allowance cost in half, from $52/MT to $23/MT.2
- An LCFS with a 15-20 percent carbon intensity reduction target will cut petroleum consumption by 18-26 percent in 2030, when compared to the current 10 percent target for 2020.
While the ICF study looks forward, today we can look back on the LCFS's successful track record since its inception in 2011:
- Cumulatively through 2016, the LCFS has helped the state avoid about 26 million metric tons (MMT) of carbon emissions and 8.5 billion gallons of petroleum.3
- The LCFS has increased investment in the clean fuels market-including production and distribution-by an estimated $1.6 billion, helping lead to a 57% increase in alternative fuel use.4 While this is only a fraction of the $60 to $80 billion California spends every year on petroleum-based fuels, the LCFS is spurring investments across the clean fuel supply chain.
- More than 300 companies in the clean transportation technology industry employ over 20,000 workers in California.5 In California, electric vehicles are a catalyst for economic growth, and could contribute nearly 100,000 additional jobs by 2030.6
- To date, the LCFS has helped the state avoid $2 billion in public health costs. By 2025, the LCFS together with transportation fuels in the cap-and-trade program will save $8.3 billion in pollution-related health costs, such as avoided hospital visits and lost work days.
- These policies will prevent 38,000 asthma attacks as well as 600 heart attacks, 880 premature deaths, and almost 75,000 lost work days-all caused by air pollution.7
- Clean transportation was the best performing sector for venture capital investment in California in 2015, totaling $3.4 billion. This represents over 90% of venture capital investment in the nation.8
- The LCFS helps make low carbon fuels and advanced clean vehicles like zero emission and near-zero emission buses economically viable for the transit industry. Transit agencies that use these technologies can generate LCFS credits, which are revenue sources. As a result, they can deploy cleaner buses now, potentially benefitting disproportionally impacted communities.
- Two in three Californians favor the state making its own policies to address global warming. Fifty-two percent of Californians favor including transportation fuels in the state's cap-and-trade system, and about half say it is very important that some cap-and-trade revenues are used in lower-income communities.9 Furthermore, a strong majority of Californians (65%) say global climate change is a major threat to the well-being of the country.10
In summary, the LCFS is working as intended, it is an important complementary tool in our climate-fighting toolbox, and as a component of our state's signature climate policy, it enjoys widespread public support.
We urge you to stay the course on the LCFS, and reject any calls to weaken or do away with this important climate policy. Thank you for your attention.
California Delivers Organizational Supporters
1. California Air Resources Board, 2016 LCFS Reporting Tool, Quarterly Data Summary, Report No. 4, https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/dashboard/quarterlysummary/20170419_q4datasummary.pdf
2. ICF Consulting, Post-2020 Carbon Constraints: Modeling LCFS and Cap-and-Trade, February 2017. http://www.caletc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Final-Report-Cap-and-Trade-LCFS.pdf
3. California Air Resources Board, 2016 LCFS Reporting Tool, Quarterly Data Summary, Report No. 4, https://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/dashboard/quarterlysummary/20170419_q4datasummary.pdf
4. Calculated from ARB's quarterly compliance data which tracks industry performance
5. CALSTART, California's Clean Transportation technology Industry Time to Shift into High Gear, August 2016
6. California Electric Transportation Coalition, Plug-in Electric Vehicle Deployment in California: An Economic Jobs Assessment, July 2016
7. TetraTech, Driving California Forward: Public Health and Societal Economic Benefits of California's AB 32 Transportation and Fuel Policies, 2014
8. Next10, California Green Innovation Index, July 2016
9. Public Policy Institute of California, Californians and the Environment, July 2016
10. Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Survey, January 2017
See the complete letter with the full list of signers
RFS Proposal Limits US Biodiesel From Full Potential
Posted July 5, 2017 by Ron Kotrba
The U.S. EPA has finally issued its first Renewable Fuel Standard proposed rule under the new Trump administration. The agency released its 2018 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) proposal for conventional, cellulosic and advanced biofuels, and its 2019 RVO proposal for biomass-based diesel. The 2018 biomass-based diesel RVO was set last year at 2.1 billion gallons, which is precisely where EPA proposes to keep the RVO for 2019.
The agency also proposes to slightly lower the overall advanced biofuels category from 4.28 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons this year to 4.24 billion gallons next year. One gallon of biodiesel is equivalent to 1.5 gallons of ethanol in the RFS program.
The 2018 RVO proposal for conventional biofuels (i.e., corn ethanol) is at the statutory cap of 15 billion gallons. The cellulosic ethanol RVO proposal for 2018 is 238 million gallons.
The National Biodiesel Board has advocated for EPA to set the 2018 advanced biofuel requirements at a minimum of 5.25 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons, nearly a 1-billion-gallon increase over 2017's advanced biofuel RVO of 4.28 billion gallons. For biomass-based diesel, NBB believes EPA should set the volume for 2019 at 2.75 billion gallons, an increase from 2.1 billion gallons for 2018 and a break from EPA's annual increase of 100 million gallons over the past few years. The U.S. market absorbed nearly 3 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel in 2016, roughly a third of which was imported.
Larry Schafer, the co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Playmaker Strategies, spoke in June at the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo in Minneapolis, where he said biomass-based diesel production and import numbers released so far this year indicate that - despite the lapsed tax credit and increased political uncertainty - the U.S. biodiesel market is on track to be about 5 percent greater this year over last, with a third of the market again supplied by imports.
The obvious concern for the U.S. biodiesel industry is that, with nearly 2 billion gallons of domestic biomass-based diesel production in 2016, a proposal of 2.1 billion gallons for 2019 doesn't leave much room for growth - even if tariffs are imposed on Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel and the blenders tax credit is reformed to a domestic producers credit. Furthermore, if this proposal becomes enacted, it would end a trajectory of growth for biomass-based diesel established by EPA over the past several years, however modest an annual increase of 100 million gallons might be.
"This is only a proposal, and, in the past, the EPA's final numbers have been higher than those in the proposal," said Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs. "We will continue to work with the EPA and ensure the administration doesn't turn its back on our domestic energy producers."
Steckel said the proposal continues to underestimate the ability of the biodiesel industry to meet the volumes of the RFS program.
"This is a missed opportunity for biodiesel, which reduces costs, provides economic benefits and results in lower prices at the pump," she said. "Higher advanced-biofuel and biomass-based diesel volumes will support additional jobs and investment in both rural economies and clean-energy-conscious communities. The EPA should be committed to diversifying the diesel fuel market and prioritizing advanced biofuels. Targets like this ignore reality and the law, inhibiting growth in the industry."
EPA's reasoning in proposing to keep the biomass-based diesel standard at 2.1 billion gallons in 2019 is to encourage development and production of a variety of advanced biofuels. "We continue to believe that preserving space under the advanced biofuel standard for nonbiomass-based diesel advanced biofuels, as well as biomass-based diesel volumes in excess of the biomass-based diesel standard, will help to encourage the development and production of a variety of advanced biofuels over the long term without reducing the incentive for additional volumes of biomass-based diesel beyond the biomass-based diesel standard in 2019," EPA stated in the RFS proposal. "A variety of different types of advanced biofuels, rather than a single type such as biomass-based diesel, would positively impact energy security."
EPA continued, stating that, "While we believe it is important to provide continued support to the biomass-based diesel industry, we do not believe it is necessary to increase the biomass-based diesel set-aside in 2019 in order to do so ... We expect that the 2019 advanced volume requirement, when set next year, will determine the level of biomass-based diesel production and imports that occur in 2019. Therefore, EPA continues to believe that the same overall volume of biomass-based diesel would likely be supplied in 2019 regardless of the biomass-based diesel volume we mandate for 2019 in this proposed rule."
This begs the question that, if EPA is genuinely concerned about development and production of a variety of advanced biofuels over the long term, why then would the agency propose a cut in the advanced biofuel category from this year to next? One might also argue that if the biomass-based diesel subcategory is constrained within the overall advanced biofuels category, this could open the door to more imported sugarcane ethanol from Brazil-not exactly the diverse growth in advanced biofuels that EPA claims is its motivation behind limiting biomass-based diesel. Furthermore, growth of sugarcane ethanol from Brazil in the advanced biofuel category cannot achieve the energy security that domestically produced biodiesel provides.
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monty Shaw said, "Unfortunately, a change in administrations did not change the EPA's under appreciation for the potential of U.S. biodiesel production. Keeping biodiesel levels frozen at 2.1 billion falls short of U.S. industry capabilities, even before imports are considered. With plants in Iowa running under capacity, IRFA will be urging the EPA during the public comment period to increase the final biodiesel level. The best thing the Trump administration can do to impact biodiesel imports is to throw its full support behind Sen. Grassley's bill to reinstate and revise the biodiesel tax credit into a producer's credit, thereby ending the U.S. incentive for foreign biodiesel."
Tom Brooks, chair of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel in Farley, Iowa, said he - like most in the industry - is disappointed with the proposal.
"This would set this important American manufacturing sector back at a time when we stand ready to take a large leap forward," Brooks said. "I want to be clear that the influx of foreign-produced biodiesel we've seen in our market from places like Argentina and Southeast Asia is no indication that the U.S. cannot meet production demand. On the contrary, most biodiesel plants in Iowa and elsewhere are operating below capacity. The imports are pricing us out of our own market due to trade and other federal policies that need correction. This includes a loophole in the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, which allows other countries to claim our incentive, while also claiming their own country's subsidies. Our industry has worked for years trying to get this adjusted so we can compete fairly in our own country."
Brooks added that, if these volumes stand, the U.S. could restrict one of its most powerful opportunities to support American energy manufacturing. He said Iowa-based biodiesel plants have expanded capacity in anticipation of better times ahead. "But that is now looking bleaker," he said. "Our own plant, Western Dubuque Biodiesel, had hoped to expand significantly, helping energy security and creating more good paying jobs in an area of rural Iowa that needs it. But so much uncertainty makes that less likely for us and other plants-a lost opportunity for Iowa and the nation."
The largest U.S. biodiesel producer, Renewable Energy Group Inc., has a new leader after president and CEO Daniel J. Oh resigned July 3. The board of directors appointed longtime director Randy Howard as interim president and CEO.
On the RFS proposal, Howard told Biodiesel Magazine, "We've been here before during my tenure on the board at REG. I can remember when we got disappointing RVO proposals and we were able to clearly put the facts in front of the decision makers during the comment period and make a change. We're positive we can do again."
In a company statement following EPA's release of its RFS proposal, Howard said, "This proposal offers REG and the American biomass-based diesel industry the opportunity to prove once again how we exceed expectations, and we fully embrace that opportunity. The RVO is only one tool that aids biomass-based diesel growth and it is our job to convince policymakers that it should not restrain growth of American-made renewable fuel ... So, we look forward to additional meetings with the administration in the coming weeks to show how an industry that is only running at about 65 percent capacity, has ample feedstock supply and is helping fill growing diesel demand can help President Trump reaffirm his commitment to growing the supply of all American made fuels."
Howard added that REG remains confident that the U.S. will impose tariffs on imported biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. "And we are just as confident that U.S. production can make up for any lost import volumes," he said.
Steckel told Biodiesel Magazine that the RFS does not discriminate against imports, so if the pending trade case and the potential for tariffs to be imposed had any influence on EPA's proposal to keep biomass-based diesel at 2.1 billion gallons for 2019, then "that's not the way to limit imports," she said. "The way to address imports is through the trade case, not through RFS volumes. If EPA is not allowing advanced biofuels to grow, it's only going to hurt the domestic industry."
She added there are many strong reasons as to why EPA should increase the biomass-based diesel and overall advanced volumes in the final RFS rule. "We have a task in front of us to make that case," Steckel said. "And it is our job to do just that."
Following publication of the proposed RFS rule for 2018-'19 in the federal register, a 45-day comment period will open. The final rule will be released late this year.
Click here to view the proposal.
View the article as it appears in Biodiesel Magazine
NBB Fair Trade Coalition Files New Claim to Prevent Harm from Recent Surge in Argentinian Biodiesel Shipments
Critical Circumstances Remedy Provides Relief
rom Massive Shipments of Dumped and Subsidized Imports Since Filing of Petitions
Jul 11, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition has filed a new allegation with the U.S. Department of Commerce claiming that "critical circumstances" exist with respect to imports of biodiesel from Argentina. The "critical circumstances" provision in antidumping and countervailing duties laws allows for the imposition of duties on imports that enter the United States prior to preliminary determinations of subsidization and dumping.
Critical circumstances protections can provide relief in the form of retroactive duties from the effects of a surge in shipments. These protections exist to deter importers from stockpiling and circumventing the antidumping and countervailing duty laws by making massive shipments immediately after the filing of a petition and before relief is typically imposed.
New data have come to the NBB Fair Trade Coalition's attention, which provides a reasonable basis to believe or suspect that critical circumstances exist with respect to dumped and subsidized imports of biodiesel from Argentina. The coalition found that imports of biodiesel from Argentina jumped 144.5 percent since the filing of the antidumping and countervailing duty petitions, as compared to the period prior to the filings.
"Our industry deserves relief. The law provides a remedy for U.S. industries harmed by illegal trade practices of this nature, and so we are taking the appropriate steps to ensure these unlawful actions are addressed," said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at NBB.
"Our producers should not continue to be pushed aside by increased volumes of subsidized and dumped imports."
"When we see biodiesel from Argentina selling at a discount to the market price of soyoil-the main input into biodiesel-we know we are facing dumped pricing," said Paul Soanes, CEO and President of Renewable Biofuels (RBF). "The United States is a key market for these exporters, and without a remedy, these unfairly traded imports are likely to continue unabated. That is a further threat to our business."
To determine critical circumstances, the Commerce Department must find that there are "massive" imports over a relatively short period of time, and that other statutory criteria are met, including whether the imports benefit from illegal subsidies. The NBB Fair Trade Coalition's petition alleges that each condition has been met.
Earlier this year,
the NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed petitions with the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)
, which allege that significant increases in subsidized and dumped biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia have injured U.S. producers, including by taking market share away from U.S. manufacturers and suffocating U.S. investment activity.
The Argentinian government employs several tactics that make it hard to compete, including subsidies to Argentinian biodiesel producers, declining export taxes on their biodiesel, and various tax incentives and exemptions for biodiesel producers. By taking advantage of these various subsidies, Argentinian producers have become dominant exporters and taken an increasingly greater share of the U.S. market. This has caused U.S. producers to pull back on investments to expand production capacity in what continues to be a growing market.
"We have halted several plant modification projects as a result of reduced working capital, even for modest projects," said Robert Morton, co-founder of Newport Biodiesel in Rhode Island.
Stories like this from biodiesel producers nationwide provided the impetus for filing the petitions.
NBB's Anne Steckel and several NBB member companies testified at a staff conference before the ITC in April 2017 on Argentina's trade practices
. On May 5, 2017, the ITC made a unanimous preliminary decision that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia injured U.S. producers. The U.S. Department of Commerce will announce its preliminary determinations regarding the estimated rates of subsidization and dumping on or about August 22, 2017 and October 20, 2017, respectively.