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California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  


November 2017    

In This Issue
We begin by welcoming Western Iowa Energy (WIE) as the new owner of Agron Bioenergy's Watsonville biodiesel plant, here and by including an article on the purchase below. Agron has been a long-standing CBA board member, and we are happy that Roxby Hartley will continue his service on the board as WIE's representative. 

CBA had a strong showing at the NBB's meeting and lobby day on Capitol Hill this week. We congratulate CBA board member Harry Simpson, of Crimson Renewable Energy, on his election to the NBB Governing Board. CBA board members met with staffers in the offices of Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris, making our case for the biodiesel tax credit and a strong RFS. The biodiesel tax credit is not in the federal tax overhaul bill, and will hopefully move in a package separate from it, as an extenders package, by the end of the year. 

This newsletter has key updates on federal issues including positive news on the final success in the subsidies case and that the EPA is keeping the RFS' Point of Obligation.  We include NBB's news release on RFS volumes, which came out today - and is not good news.

We reprint our latest public comments to the California Energy Commission (CEC) on the ARFVTP, as an important window into the ongoing, consistent efforts by CBA to increase funding for biodiesel and to stress the importance of biofuels to state goals. Thanks to CBA Vice President, Joe Gershen, for his years-long leadership as our representative on the ARFVTP Advisory Committee.
The policy section provides substantive updates that those doing business in the state need to know. This month it includes info on NBB's technical comment letter to ARB on the LCFS co-processing issue; a link to regulatory guidance on the POET lawsuit; news on the potential ICE ban; and more.

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Back Issues of this newsletter are available in the Archives on our Members Only webpage. 
Alternative Diesel Fuels Regulation (ADF)
2018 Reporting Form and FAQ Released by ARB

Today, California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff released an updated ADF  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and an updated  reporting form to be used beginning  January 1, 2018 when biodiesel's "In Use" requirements for NOx kick in . ( ARB's notice on this, included that they are extending the deadline to stop using the DDC series 60 engine for certification from December 31, 2017 to June 30, 2018).

The ADF , which became effective January 1, 2016, affects all who handle biodiesel in the state and includes reporting and recordkeeping requirements applicable to entities in the biodiesel industry. 

CBA's ADF Summary, which provided background, details, and Q & As on the regulation, was made available to members in December 2015 through generous funding from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). CBA and the NBB involved biodiesel experts and actively participated for 10 years in the rulemaking process to ensure the best possible outcome for our industry. For background and information on the regulation, click here.

CBA members will have the opportunity to participate in a call with ARB staff on December 19th to get updates and ask questions about the new 2018 ADF compliance requirements. 

CBA Comments
on CEC's 2018-2019 Investment Plan Update   for the ARFVTP 
Below is an excerpt of CBA's comment letter submitted this month to the California Energy Commission (CEC) on the latest funding plan for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP):

 CBA Logo
We thank Commissioner Scott and Commission staff for their hard work on this Investment Plan Update.  Your dedication to this program and process is very much appreciated by all of us on the committee.  We have the following comments and recommendations:

In Chapter 3, in the fourth paragraph under "Low-Carbon Fuel Production and Supply," it states that the Energy Commission has provided 11 grants through the ARFVTP to expand the in-state annual production capacity of biodiesel by a cumulative 82 million gallons, and two of these projects have been completed and are producing fuel.  We believe this is not correct. It's our understanding that the following four companies have completed grant projects under the ARFVTP: Crimson Renewable Energy, New Leaf Biofuel, Community Fuels and Biodico.

While we agree that there is enormous petroleum and GHG emission reduction potential of any low-carbon, drop-in gasoline or petroleum replacement, we would caution staff not to react too extremely.  We are very supportive of the development of upstream biofuels, such as renewable gasoline and renewable crude oil, but there is still great potential for growth of in-state downstream biofuels production such as biodiesel and renewable diesel.  We continue to believe that expansion of existing in-state biofuels plants is the most pragmatic path forward and will lead to meaningful carbon reduction and petroleum displacement.  There are numerous technologies that can expand capacity and lower carbon intensity of existing biofuels production facilities, all worthy of investment under the ARFVTP.

We believe the best way to stimulate in-state biodiesel production is through a biodiesel incentive based on the volume of biodiesel produced, Carbon Intensity, and CalEnviroScreen score.  This is a simple mathematical calculation that can be done ministerially on a quarterly basis, without placing CEC funds at risk with potentially unsuccessful projects.  The incentive is based upon actual production, and rewards volume, low carbon intensity and positively impacting disadvantaged communities.  This avenue should be explored for all biofuels, and we are available as an industry to assist with the development of this funding mechanism.

We are pleased with, and supportive of, the increase in funding to $25 million for this category.  We have also been requesting funding for biodiesel storage and blending infrastructure for at least six years and continue to be disappointed in this area.  Only about 30 percent of California's existing bulk fuel racks and terminals are capable of blending biodiesel in the state, and some minimal strategic investments in this area would send an important signal to refiners and fuel marketers, helping to break through the largest barrier to increased biodiesel blending in California.  I strongly urge you to revisit this before finalizing this investment plan.

Finally, the Bioenergy Action Plan in 2012 was instrumental in coordinating existing and future programs for biofuel and bioenergy development.  This plan should be updated, and an industry panel formed to assist in its development.

We value the open dialog and relationship that our industry has developed with the Energy Commission and look forward to continuing to communicate with staff.  We hope this will lead to even more meaningful funding allocations for the biodiesel industry in the near future.

In Final Decision, Commerce Department Confirms Unfair Subsidies by Argentina, Indonesia of Biodiesel Imports

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the Commerce Department issued a final determination in a case brought by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition regarding subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department made a preliminary finding that Argentina and Indonesia provide subsidies to their biodiesel producers in violation of international trade rules. Today's decision cements that earlier finding, and the cash deposit rates required of importers of biodiesel will be updated to reflect this final determination. 

"The biodiesel industry has been injured for the past several years due to unfairly traded imports from Argentina and Indonesia. We appreciate that these unfair subsidies are being addressed, so we can fix this particular obstacle to continued growth in the domestic industry," said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board. "Though not yet over, this is a step forward in ensuring the product that supports nearly 64,000 jobs is not undercut by unfair imports."

To reflect the final determination, the Commerce Department will update the cash deposit rates that importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel must pay on biodiesel imported from those countries. The cash deposit rates range from 71.45 to 72.28 percent for biodiesel from Argentina, and 34.45 to 64.73 percent for biodiesel from Indonesia, depending on the particular foreign producer/exporter involved. 

The NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed these petitions to address a flood of subsidized and dumped imports from Argentina and Indonesia that has resulted in market share losses and depressed prices for domestic producers. Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464 percent from 2014 to 2016, taking 18.3 percentage points of market share from U.S. manufacturers. Imports of biodiesel from Argentina again jumped 144.5 percent following the filing of the petitions. These surging, low-priced imports prevented producers from earning adequate returns on their substantial investments and caused U.S. producers to pull back on further investments to serve a growing market. 

To be successful in securing relief, a party must file not only with the Commerce Department, but also with the International Trade Commission (ITC). The Commerce Department determines whether the imports are subsidized and/or dumped, while the ITC determines whether the domestic industry has been injured by reason of such unfairly traded imports. The Commerce Department also determines the margin of duties to impose on imports based on the degree of dumping and subsidies found.

Today, November 9, the ITC is holding a public hearing in Washington, DC, beginning at 9:40AM ET, at which coalition members will testify before the ITC commissioners. The ITC is scheduled to hold its final injury vote on subsidies on December 5th. If the ITC's final injury vote in December is affirmative, the Commerce Department will publish final countervailing duty orders on the question of subsidies

The coalition filed both antidumping and countervailing duty petitions with the Commerce Department. Antidumping petitions address concerns whether imports coming into the United States are priced below fair value. Countervailing duty petitions address subsidies provided by foreign governments benefiting imported product. Today's decision is on the subsidies question.

The antidumping investigations are following a different schedule: Commerce is scheduled to issue final antidumping determinations in early January, which would be followed by another ITC injury vote as it relates to dumped imports.  


Update: On Thursday, November 9th, members of the NBB Fair Trade Coalition testified for the first time before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) as part of the ITC's final phase injury investigation, making well-prepared arguments and rebutting those by the respondents in the case.  Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill gave strong testimony in support of the U.S. biodiesel industry. The ITC is scheduled to hold its final injury vote on December 5th. 

As Promised, EPA Rejects RFS Point of Obligation Switch

Posted November 22, 2017 by Spencer Chase

The Environmental Protection Agency has formally decided against a technical change to the governance of the Renewable Fuel Standard, following through on a pledge its leader made to lawmakers in October.

The move makes official EPA's decision to reject a petition that would have changed the point of obligation under the RFS. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a  letter  to seven farm state senators in October that he would direct his staff to finalize the decision within 30 days.

In the  notice  signed Wednesday by Pruitt, the EPA argued changing the point of obligation would not have improved the effectiveness of the RFS, nor would it have met the intent of Congress when administering the legislation.

"At the same time, EPA believes that a change in the point of obligation would unnecessarily increase the complexity of the program and undermine the success of the RFS program, especially in the short term, as a result of increasing instability and uncertainty in programmatic obligations," EPA said in a Federal Register filing.

Oil companies and refiners requested the change during the Obama administration, but decided against that request last November. However, the  comment period  on EPA's decision did not close until the early days of the Trump administration. The change would have ultimately changed the obligated party responsible for the generation and purchase of Renewable Identification Numbers from refiners and importers to blenders of transportation fuel.

Renewable fuels supporters were not in favor of the switch as demonstrated by statements released Wednesday afternoon. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said refiners had for a year been using "every trick in the book" to try and change the provision and thanked EPA for ultimately ruling against a modification.

"This one-sided handout would have added regulatory red tape, created havoc in the marketplace, and denied consumers access to more affordable fuels with higher blends of biofuels like E15," she said.

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., also applauded the move, saying the news is "a big victory for rural America.

"It will provide certainty, not only for hardworking producers in Nebraska and across the Heartland, but also for innovators who have invested in the future of renewable fuels," Fischer, one of the senators who met with Pruitt earlier this year, said in a statement.

Another senator in the room for the meeting with Pruitt, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, said the decision was "the right policy conclusion." 

"This decision puts the issue to bed, and certainty is so important," Grassley said. "It's a decision from the EPA that sides with the integrity of the RFS."

The point of obligation switch took on a life of its own earlier this year, when Carl Icahn, then a special advisor to President Donald Trump, struck a deal with Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen to trade an executive order changing the point of obligation in exchange for action that would allow E15 to be sold during the summer months through a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver. Others in the renewable fuels industry  spoke out against the deal , and the executive order never materialized.

Icahn ultimately resigned from his role as special advisor. In a statement, Dinneen reiterated that RFA's longstanding position is "the current point of obligation."

"We believe the quickest path to the lower RIN prices sought by obligated parties is regulatory or legislative action to establish RVP parity for E15," Dinneen said.

Rejecting the point of obligation switch was one of four promises made to senators in Pruitt's letter: He also pledged to look into the RVP waiver, not pursue action that would allow RINS to be associated with exported biofuels, and to release 2018 blending levels under the RFS "equal to or greater than the proposed amounts." By law, that announcement must happen by the end of November.
Biodiesel Industry Disappointed by the Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes
NBB: EPA Missed an Opportunity to Grow American-Made Energy and Jobs

November 30, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the required volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and failed to grow the biomass-based diesel volumes. Since the July proposal was released, NBB has relentlessly called for growth in the volumes of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel.

"EPA Administrator Pruitt has disappointed the biodiesel industry for failing to respond to our repeated calls for growth. These flat volumes will harm Americans across several job-creating sectors-be they farmers, grease collectors, crushers, biodiesel producers or truckers-as well as consumers. Nevertheless, we can't thank our members and our biodiesel champions at the state and federal levels enough for their tireless advocacy and education efforts. We'll continue to work with the administration to right this wrong for future volumes," said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board. 

EPA announced requirements of 4.29 billion gallons of advanced biofuels for 2018 and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel again for 2019. The July proposal recommended only 4.24 billion gallons of advanced biofuels and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel-a reduction and a flatline, respectively, from last year's standards. The biodiesel industry has consistently exceeded EPA's standards-despite the agency underestimating the volumes each year. These volumes are important for setting a baseline-and our industry will again surpass these low expectations-but the failure to increase volumes will inhibit continued growth and investments.

Since the July proposal and the September Notice of Data Availability, the biodiesel industry has engaged in aggressive advocacy for growth in the volumes. In addition to an extensive series of meetings with administration officials, NBB issued robust data sets, a campaign-style video, a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post, a letter to President Trump from NBB's leadership, and NBB joined a broad coalition letter with other biofuels advocates. The association led several letter-writing and social media campaigns, as well as assisted with governors'senators' and NBB members' efforts to raise the volumes. This week, nearly 100 NBB members were in Washington, D.C., to meet with their elected officials on Capitol Hill.

(Special Op Ed by John Diener and Rey León)
Why Zero Net Energy Farms 
Can Be the Next Salvo in California's Climate Change Fight

By John Diener and Rey León
Recent extreme weather events-drought, fires, storms, and mudslides-are a stark reminder of the effects climate change already has on California. They beckon us to respond with smart solutions. For those of us living and working in the Valley, fully adopting renewable energy will not only decrease greenhouse gas emissions but also drastically improve the air we breathe. California's agricultural industry, a bedrock of our economy, is uniquely poised to slash emissions by using renewable energy to power farms.
As a Valley farmer and the mayor of Huron, respectively, we have a vested interest in the economic prosperity and health of the rural communities we serve. Renewable energy meets those goals by cutting production costs, eliminating fossil fuel pollution, and creating quality, long-term jobs. We've partnered to bring these renewable energy benefits to our community.
There is a vast, untapped source of energy and fuel that many farmers don't utilize. For example, green waste, which is abundant and otherwise goes unused, can be repurposed to create biodiesel and thermal energy. At Red Rock Ranch, we've harnessed green waste and other local sources of renewable energy to power our farm and do our part to end dependence on expensive fossil fuels. In partnership with Biodico, we produce our own biodiesel to power our tractors. We also have installed LED lighting, solar panels, and thermal energy technology that, together with our biodiesel operation, have earned Red Rock Ranch the distinct title of the world's first and only zero net energy farm. That means the total amount of energy the farm uses annually equals the amount of renewable energy it creates on-site.
What attracted us the most to renewable energy was the opportunity for significant cost savings. The benefits of investing in long-term renewable energy produced locally outweigh the alternative: purchasing imported fuel and energy. Government agencies like the California Energy Commission also provide grants to help farmers and businesses upgrade to renewable energy. None of this cutting-edge technology would have been possible without policies California has adopted that make us a global clean energy innovator, most notably the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Thanks to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which incentivizes production of low-carbon fuel like the biodiesel made at Red Rock Ranch, we save even more.
Revamping a farm to leverage available resources is now just a mouse-click away. Using Red Rock Ranch as a model, Biodico has launched an online program to help farmers identify ways to save energy, through irrigation practices, and generate renewable energy on-site such as with biomass or solar power. Farmers all across the country-and in other countries too-can replicate our success using the easy-to-deploy app. California produces two-thirds of the country's fruits and nuts, and around one-quarter of our state's agricultural production is exported abroad-our blueprint could transform agriculture nationwide and globally. In California alone, our model could be replicated 20,000 times on similar lands.
Rural communities also benefit from clean energy as it generates stable, well-paying jobs. Choosing renewable energy allows farmers to invest in communities by hiring and training local workers to produce biodiesel. Clean energy jobs, like the Biodico jobs at Red Rock Ranch, overall pay higher average wages and provide workers with benefits other industries don't. These jobs allow for small towns to flourish by providing working class communities like Huron with jobs, putting families on the path to financial stability. Red Rock Ranch is providing 300 direct and indirect local jobs with an even broader ripple effect.
The Valley is overburdened by some of the country's worst air pollution. Harnessing abundant renewable energy is an accessible and cost-effective solution to ensure economic growth and protect the health of the air and our communities. In California and worldwide, farmers, business leaders, and elected officials can create partnerships like ours to step up their role in fighting air pollution and climate change.
John Diener is the president and CEO of Red Rock Ranch in Five Points and Rey León is the mayor of Huron.

(Biodiesel Magazine)
Western Iowa Energy Acquires 15 MMgy California Biodiesel Plant

Posted November 15, 2017

Agron Bioenergy LLC closed the sale of its biodiesel plant located in Watsonville, California, to Western Iowa Energy LLC. Ocean Park acted as exclusive advisor to the seller.

"Western Iowa Energy is happy to be joining with Agron Bioenergy to provide high-quality biodiesel for California consumers," said Bill Horan, Western Iowa Energy's chairman.

Western Iowa Energy President and General Manager Brad Wilson added, "We are excited to begin biodiesel production in California. We have been very successful in Iowa and plan to increase the value of our members' investment with this acquisition."

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The assets include a biodiesel refinery designed to produce 15 MMgy and patents encompassing Agron's centrifuge system and distillation steps to eliminate water washing in the production of biodiesel.

"This sale marks the 24th successful biofuels transaction for Ocean Park, which further solidifies our position as a leading advisor in the renewable fuels and chemicals industries," said Mark Fisler, an Ocean Park managing director.

"Western Iowa Energy has been successful as an independent biodiesel producer for over a decade," said John Campbell, another Ocean Park managing director. "Their footprint expansion into the California market shows confidence not only in their long-term business model but the future of a low carbon economy."    

Agron Bioenergy was founded in 2012. The plant uses continual process patented technology to dispense with water washing and produces clean distilled B100 biodiesel that meets or exceeds ASTM D-6751 specifications.

Western Iowa Energy is a BQ-9000-accredited biodiesel producer whose Wall Lake, Iowa, plant can produce 45 MMgy.

French fries  French fries French fries
( Biodico)
Biodico Unveils Groundbreaking Technology
To Help Farms Turn Underutilized Resources
Into Renewable Energy and Fuel
-- After creating world's first 'Zero Net Energy Farm,' 
Biodico launches new technology to connect farms and surrounding low-income communities with clean, affordable energy and local jobs --
Fresno County, Calif. - November 3, 2017 - Renewable energy company Biodico today introduced its Master Community Design technology to business leaders, farmers, farmworkers, academics and local governments at the Zero Net Energy Farm Summit hosted at Red Rock Ranch in Five Points, Calif.
The technology enables farms and local communities to identify onsite renewable sources of clean energy and then create a plan to convert those resources into electricity and liquid biofuel. Biodico worked with mapping and spatial analytics company ESRI to develop an application that generates interactive referencing maps of renewable resources anywhere in California.
"We utilized our Zero Net Energy Farm as a model to develop an easy-to-deploy, Internet-based solution that provides a real-world visualization of resources available to farmers and communities in need of affordable access to clean energy," said Russ Teall, president and founder of Biodico. "Our research is a pivotal step to prepare for the deployment of the application in other regions throughout the United States and on a global scale.
"Governments and municipalities throughout the world are in search of economical solutions that provide secure, clean and efficient sources of renewable energy, in addition to generating jobs, and we are excited to introduce our application at such a critical time of need," Teall added.
Biodico's Zero Net Energy Farm (ZNEF) is in part funded by the California Energy Commission's Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC). ZNEF is the world's first fully sustainable liquid biofuel facility to help address energy needs and climate goals in California's Central Valley. The region has some of the worst air quality in the United States and is home to the poorest cities on the West Coast. 

Biodico worked with Rey Leon, the mayor of Huron and what is considered the most impoverished city in California, as part of the development of ZNEF and the Master Community Design application.
"My job is to improve the quality of life for my community, and Biodico is developing cost-effective solutions that we can access to power our homes and businesses, and without polluting the air we breathe," Mayor Leon said. "There is a great income disparity in our home state of California. The least we can do is help narrow that gap by enabling access to clean, affordable energy and transportation."
"We are honored and excited to work with Biodico and the surrounding community to help illuminate the potential for access to renewable energy through our mapping software," said Ryan Perkl, PhD, a senior consultant and project manager from ESRI. "Delivering scalable technology with the potential to inform positive real-world change is a primary focus at our company. Biodico's use of our GeoPlanner application is a perfect example of how we can solve problems together by leveraging a common visual and analytical language enabled by the power of web GIS."

(Biodiesel Magazine) 
BDI to Build RepCat Biodiesel Plant at Crimson Renewable Energy

Posted November 13, 2017 by Ron Kotrba

One year after Austrian biodiesel engineering company BDI-BioEnergy International AG completed upgrades at Crimson Renewable Energy LP in Bakersfield, California, including process optimization and expansion under BDI's RetroFit program, the company has announced another milestone project at the same facility. Crimson has chosen BDI as technology provider to build a new plant in Bakersfield that will run alongside Crimson's existing plant.

The new plant will feature RepCat technology, a patented biodiesel production system for low-quality feedstock with high free fatty acids (FFA) that employs a recyclable catalyst. The company says the process technology's low-cost, recyclable catalyst bypasses complex treatment of glycerin, providing a high-purity coproduct and relatively low operating costs. Furthermore, the technology is extremely feedstock-flexible, allowing efficient processing of waste oils and fats of different kinds and origin.

BDI introduced the RepCat technology 10 years ago. Its first plant utilizing the novel process was built in Austria, followed by an installation in Hong Kong, where trap grease from local restaurants is being converted, and in the U.K., where "fatbergs" from the London sewage system are used as feedstock. The new Crimson plant will mainly process fats, oil and grease (FOG) from metropolitan areas in California. BDI says this will be the first plant of its kind in the U.S.

"Following the successful upgrading of certain major subsystems of our existing biodiesel plant, BDI was the leading contender for the addition of a new production line to expand of our plant in California," said Harry Simpson, CEO of Crimson Renewable Energy. "It was a good business decision for Crimson to choose BDI because of the very positive experience we had with the highly professional BDI team over the past two years, combined with BDI's long history of building successful biodiesel plants and the opportunity to utilize the BDI RepCat technology to run new waste oil feedstocks."

Hermann Stockinger, vice president of sales at BDI, said "We got to know Crimson as a results-oriented customer with a strong market position but who was still open to new technologies. All of us at BDI are now very much looking forward to working together again with the excellent Crimson team in order to make this project a success and prove the many benefits of the BDI RepCat technology."

Stockinger told Biodiesel Magazine that the RepCat plant will add another 12 MMgy to the existing 24 MMgy of capacity at Crimson, bringing the total biodiesel production capacity on-site to 36 MMgy. He added the project is slated for completion in mid-2019. 


Cellulosic Biodiesel Research Advances

Posted November 13, 2017

Research to convert sugars from various non-edible biomass sources into biodiesel has been advancing in a program being co-conducted by ExxonMobil and the Renewable Energy Group.
"Our first challenge during the initial research was to determine technical feasibility and potential environmental benefits," said Vijay Swarup, vice-president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. "The results indicate good potential for advancing the technology."

The companies validated the feasibility of the Renewable Energy Group's fermentation technology on multiple cellulosic-sugar compositions produced with various methods from non-edible biomass sources. The research also confirmed the technology can achieve reductions of full-lifecycle greenhouse-gas emissions compared to traditional diesel fuel.
"Biofuels today are made largely from food sources, such as corn and sugar cane," Swarup said. "We're exploring a portfolio of large-scale biofuels solutions that don't compete with food and water."

The Renewable Energy Group has developed technology that uses microbes to convert cellulosic sugars into biodiesel in a one-step fermentation process. Cellulosic feedstocks derived from agricultural waste contain multiple types of sugars, including glucose and xylose, as well as impurities that can inhibit the fermentation process.

A breakthrough in cellulosic-biodiesel production could have broad implications for the transportation sector. Global demand for transportation-related energy is projected to increase by about 25 percent through 2040. Technologies such as cellulosic biodiesel will play a critical role in reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the companies.

CBA has been coordinating with NBB to monitor and address issues of concern to our industry in the Scoping Plan. According to the ARB, the  Revised 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan  (Revised Plan) describes the actions the State will take to achieve the SB 32 climate goal of reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.    It outlines an approach that cuts across economic sectors to combine GHG reductions with reductions of smog-causing pollutants, while also safeguarding public health and economic goals.    The Revised Plan also reflects direction in AB 398.    A Final Plan, with all supporting materials, will be released prior to the  December 14, 2017  Board Hearing. 
The main Scoping Plan page is here: https://arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/scopingplan.htm. 
The Biofuels Coalition, originally formed to seek production incentive funding through the GGRF, currently has several news areas of focus. Coalition members are working to update the state's Bioenergy Action Plan. Also, recent proposed legislation that would have banned the internal combustion engine (ICE) has spurred members to work to better educate legislators about the many benefits of biofuels in their districts and to stress the disproportionately positive contribution they make to the success of LCFS.  

ARB staff will discuss the new reporting form and answer questions on the January 1, 2018 ADF requirements on a CBA call with all members on December 19th. 
Click here to see a table of ADF reporting in 2016 that shows the volumes of B100/B99 blendstock imported and produced as well as the percentages of B100/B99 blendstock blended to produce final blends of B20 and below. 
Recently, a webinar was held to discuss the new ARB-approved NOx mitigation additive, VESTA™ 1000, which will enable the use of biodiesel blends up to 20 percent under the ADF's January 1, 2018 requirements. For information, visit: http://www.californiafueling.com.

The ADF regulation, which became effective January 1, 2016, currently 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: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/adf/adfdocs.htm. 

ARB's May 23rd, 2016 workshop presentation, which has detailed and very helpful diagrams, is posted 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.


In response to information presented at the LCFS amendments workshop on October 16th, the NBB submitted comments to the Air Resources Board (ARB) on the issue of co-processing of renewable feedstocks by petroleum refiners. The 10-page letter, which includes four technical attachments, addresses a range of concerns and begins by taking on ARB's conclusion that support exists outside the refining community for mass balance and carbon balance methods of reconciliation.
I n addition to the technical issues presented, NBB has expressed that "this issue does not further expand any existing renewable fuels infrastructure or production facilities, does not promote any additional domestic jobs, nor does it guarantee additional volumes of lower carbon intensive fuels through traditional refining techniques.  It does have the potential to allow refiners and obligated parties the ability to generate enough RINs to meet the existing volumes of biomass-based diesel fuel under the RFS without having to purchase any gallons from current producers." 

View NBB's public comments here under the October 16th Workshop.  

T he final LCFS 2018 amendments rulemaking is scheduled for a vote of the board in the first quarter of 2018.  

Credit Activity
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 .


See article above on CBA's recent public comments.  Program information is here: http://energy.ca.gov/altfuels/ .


Steve Howell, NBB's technical team lead on this issue, will present an update on his discussions with the Water Board on a CBA call with all members on December 19th. His work is to investigate modifying the agency's current proposal to update the UST regulations to be more closely aligned with that put out by EPA in 2015. EPA now treats biodiesel blends up to B20 the same as petroleum based diesel fuel for UST approvals and installations, with additional approvals needed for storing blends over B20. California's original proposal was to place the cut-off line for additional requirements on tanks containing over B5 vs. B20, and NBB will be coordinating with CBA and other stakeholders to work with the California Water Board to encourage treating B20 as conventional diesel similar to the way it is treated by EPA.   
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff has posted regulatory guidance to clarify the Modified Writ issued by Superior Court of California, County of Fresno, on October 18, 2017, in the case of Poet, LLC et al. vs CARB et al. (No. 09 CECG 04659 JYH).

For questions on federal policy issue, please contact the Washington office of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) at  202-737-8801 .

NBB Fueling Action Logo

Federal Biodiesel Tax Credit 
NBB is coordinating closely with Senator Chuck Grassley. The biodiesel tax credit is not in the federal tax overhaul bill and will hopefully move separate from it, as an extenders package, by the end of the year. 

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
See article above. 
Foreign Imports Update
See article above.
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)