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California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  

December 2014     

In This Issue
2015 Conference Brings Latest on Regional Clean Fuel Standards and Other States' Success
CBA Takes it to the Next Level: Restructures Membership Dues To Raise Funds for State Legislative Strategy
Biodiesel Tax Incentive Retroactively Reinstated for 2014: CBA Sends Team to NBB DC Fly-In
The White House Climate Change Paradox



We are happy to start this issue with the good, albeit not the best, news that on Friday, December 19th, President Obama signed the tax bill that includes the biodiesel tax incentive. Thanks for all of your efforts on this issue throughout the year!


Importantly, our industry here in California has taken a step in a bold new direction by restructuring our membership dues to raise money for state legislative efforts to benefit biodiesel and by reaching out to include all industry participants in an effort to create a rising tide. See the article below and further details in the Member section.


No spoiler alert here on the contents of the Industry News or the intensive efforts detailed in the Policy sections below, though I will say that the article on the White House Climate Change Paradox starts with news about the use of biodiesel by the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of California. Read on and have a  . . . .  


Happy New Year!



Note: Our 2015 California Biodiesel Conference (Feb 4th) is co-located with the 2015 Clean, Low Carbon Fuels Summit (Feb 3rd) at the Capitol Ballroom in Downtown Sacramento.  

To view back issues of this newsletter and CBA Email Alerts 


click on the "View CBA Email Newsletter Archive" button on our Home page.   


2015 Conference Brings Latest on Regional Clean Fuel Standards
and Other States' Success


All New Conf Logo


Recently, the Pacific Coast Collaborative announced progress on its Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, a regional agreement that integrates climate change and energy strategies for the 53 million people living on the West Coast of North America, which has been underway for just over a year. The development of low carbon fuels policies is a key aspect of the Plan.


We are privileged to be able to offer the latest from industry and environmental leaders involved in these efforts as well as updates on the success of other states' biodiesel policies.   



2:45 - 3:45   Clean Fuel Standards: Biodiesel's Key Role in States and in the Region 

Moderator: Ryan Lamberg, Executive Director, California Biodiesel Initiative

  • Shelby Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs, National Biodiesel Board
  • Simon Mui, Director, California Vehicles and Fuels, Energy & Transportation Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Gavin Carpenter, Director of Sales and Marketing, SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel

Wednesday February 4, 2015 - Capitol Plaza Ballroom, Sacramento     


CBA Takes It to the Next Level

Restructures Membership Dues To Raise Funds for State Legislative Strategy



CBA logo   


Since 2011, CBA has grown from a handful of businesses, working behind the scenes, to include over 50 feedstock suppliers, marketers and stakeholders, including all of the state's biodiesel producers. CBA is the recognized voice of California biodiesel, respected for our years-long efforts in the process of bringing biodiesel to market in the state and leading the charge to fight (or support) regulatory and legislative challenges that threaten (or strengthen) the biodiesel market in California.


Now, for the first time since 2011, CBA has revised our membership fee structure in order to take the next big step in promoting and growing our industry and to enable CBA to establish a stronger voice in Sacramento on regulatory and legislative issues that impact the California biodiesel market.


The CBA board, on December 9th, voted unanimously to raise membership dues as part of a plan to accomplish new goals through a legislative strategy designed to benefit our industry and educate a new batch of representatives in Sacramento about biodiesel and its importance under LCFS, the world's best transportation fuels carbon reduction model.

CBA wishes to thank all of the industry participants who have joined with us as members of our trade association. With your help we have moved from a biodiesel industry in its infancy to establishing a large commercial market for biodiesel, and are now reaching out to bring all producers and marketers participating in California's biodiesel marketplace under our growing tent. We are excited about this new phase of our work and look forward to achieving greater success in 2015 and beyond with your increased support.  

See the Member section below or view our Join Us webpage for details of the new membership structure.


NOTE: The contents of this article were sent to CBA membership this month in a special letter signed by CBA Chairman, Curtis Wright, and Executive Director, Celia DuBose.  



Biodiesel Tax Incentive Retroactively Reinstated for 2014

CBA Sends Team to NBB's DC Fly-In




On Friday, DecUS Capitol Building in a cloudy summer day - Washington DCember 19th, President Obama signed the tax bill that includes the biodiesel tax incentive. While our industry had hoped for a two-year extension, we are grateful that the tax extenders bill made it through the House and Senate in the nick of time with this retroactive reinstatement of the the biodiesel tax incentive for 2014.  


CBA sent a team to participate in the NBB's DC Fly In on December 4th. Executive Director Celia DuBose and Jennifer Case, President of New Leaf Biofuel, held meetings with staff for California Senators Boxer and Feinstein as well as with Boxer staff for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which is in charge of the EPA's RFS program. In addition, Anne Steckel, NBB's Vice President of Federal Affairs, joined Celia in meetings with staff for Washington state senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray that brought greetings from CBA members with operations there. Nancy E. Foster, President and CEO of the National Renderers Association, joined several meetings in order to express her industry's support for the biodiesel tax incentive.


CBA pointed out in the meetings that our state's biodiesel production capacity is equivalent to taking about 140,000 vehicles off the road and over 610 metric tons of carbon out of the air and that we do this by creating good family supporting jobs -- many of them in disadvantaged communities -- and contributing about $300 million to the state's economy. Still, because of the lack of stable government policies, we have seen four producer companies go out business in the last few months.


CBA will continue to work with the national industry on efforts to move beyond these temporary extensions. 


(Biodiesel Magazine) 

The White House Climate Change Paradox


By Ron Kotrba


The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of California was designated this month as one of 16 Climate Action Champions by the White House, and the only one of 16 honored specifically for its use of biodiesel.


A federally recognized tribal government, Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe began its strategic climate action plan in 2008 and is a regional leader in strategically planning and implementing both climate resiliency and greenhouse gas reduction measures, according to the White House. To date, the tribe has reduced energy consumption by 35 percent and has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2018, utilizing a range of approaches including the use of biodiesel to power public buses and aggressive energy efficiency measures.


The White House frames the Climate Action Champions competition like this: "From deep droughts to fierce wildfires, severe storms to rising seas, communities across the United States are already grappling with the impacts of extreme weather and climate change. Faced with these new challenges, many cities, towns, counties, and tribes in every region of the country are stepping up to cut carbon pollution, deploy more clean energy, boost energy efficiency, and build resilience in their communities to climate impacts.


"That is why earlier this fall the White House launched the Climate Action Champions competition, to identify and recognize local climate leaders and to provide targeted federal support to help those communities further raise their ambitions. Following a competitive process led by the Department of Energy (DOE), today the Administration is announcing 16 communities from around the country as the first cohort of Climate Action Champions.


"The Obama Administration is committed to taking decisive action to combat climate change. Just last month, to drive international discussions leading up to the 2015 climate negotiations in Paris, President Obama made an historic joint announcement with Chinese President Xi Jinping of each country's respective targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the post-2020 period. Building on the United States' bipartisan history of supporting financing for clean energy and climate adaptation in developing countries, the president also announced the United States' $3 billion commitment to the Green Climate Fund.


"But international leadership begins at home, which is why the Obama administration is continuing to partner with state and local governments, businesses, and philanthropic organizations to make progress on climate change in the United States. ..."


Does anyone following the renewable fuel standard (RFS) debacle see the paradox here?


It is wonderful that the White House is honoring communities for their efforts to reduce emissions and combat climate change-particularly by designating the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe as a Climate Action Champion for its use of biodiesel. Congratulations are in order for the tribe. But how can the administration propose to stall the biomass-based diesel standard for two years at 1.28 billion gallons (EPA's 2014-'15 RVO proposal released in November 2013), wait all of this year to finalize the rule only then to say it can't get it done until 2015, while the biodiesel industry, which produces the fuel the administration honors as part of an effective climate change plan, suffers in the face of policy uncertainty the administration created, thereby fostering a situation in which the biodiesel industry is producing less green fuel for communities to use to combat climate change?


The incongruity of the situation is baffling. If the White House were serious about climate change and its recognition of biodiesel as a way to combat it, then it would finalize the RFS rule immediately with a significant increase in the biodiesel mandate and stop succumbing to the heavy-handed, deep-pocketed lobbying pressures of Big Oil-the industry that produces the fuels from which the White House is trying to mitigate emissions.


This industry has shown time after time that it can exceed any production challenge put to it. President Obama, let biodiesel do what it does best while accomplishing important items on your presidential agenda: significantly reduce noxious and greenhouse gas emissions, create American jobs, reduce dependence of fossil fuels and foreign oil, and build out the green economy. 





  Grease containers Grease containers Grease containers




DOMESTIC FUELS: MN Company Finds Cheaper Way to Brew Biodiesel

Posted on December 15, 2014 by John Davis    
A company in Minnesota has found a way to brew biodiesel cheaper and more efficiently. This article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune says Superior Process Technologies figured out how to refine grease, tallow and other waste oils into biodiesel and hopes to take the process to a commercial level.

Superior Process engineers Kirk Cobb and Joe Valdespino, whose innovations draw on decades of experience in the paper and oleochemical industries, now are working toward a big step: constructing a commercial-scale biodiesel refinery.

[Parent company] Baker Commodities plans next year to start building a 20-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel plant in Vernon, Calif., to recycle waste grease into fuel, said Doug Smith, general manager of Superior Process and assistant vice president for R&D at the parent company.

"Our process is superior to the traditional method," said Valdespino in an interview at the company's lab and office on NE. Broadway. "It saves energy. It increases yield. ... It enables you to use cheaper feedstocks."

The article goes on to say the process is able to take better advantage of cheaper feedstocks, such as used deep-fryer oils, rendered animal fats and the contents of grease traps in sewer lines, hoping that when the process is commercialized, they're able to make the green fuel for less than $2 per gallon.




CEC Awards Grant to Viridis Fuels, LLC for Biodiesel Production


In a Revised Round 2 Notice of Proposed Awards issued on December 16th, Viridis Fuels joined Crimson Renewable Energy and Community Fuels as an awardee of California Energy Commission (CEC) funding. The PON-13-609 for the 2014 Pilot-Scale and Commercial-Scale Advanced Biofuels Production Facilities grants under the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) announced that Virdis was chosen to receive $3,393,598 to build a biodiesel plant in Oakland.



French fries Beautiful oil  French fries




Our industry continued its rigorous engagement with ARB this month on the technical issues involved in the ADF rulemaking, including arguing in favor of biodiesel's health benefits as a reason for increased opportunities for fleet exemptions and requesting that the provision sunset sooner as NOx neutral New technology Diesel Engines (NTDEs) come online per the state's compliance schedule.


Stating our industry's key and often repeated argument, the National Biodiesel Board's December 5th comment letter began with this: "While recent drafts of the regulation represent considerable -- and sincerely appreciated -- improvement over previous regulatory concepts, we remain convinced that the significance level should be set at B20. This view is based on air shed modeling studies that used data from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). As discussed previously, the totality of data related to biodiesel emissions -- namely major reductions in particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) -- results in a self-mitigating effect, at least up to a 20% threshold."


The ARB Board Hearing Notice & Staff Report is scheduled to be released on January 2, 2015 and the Board Hearing will be held in mid February.  


ADF rulemaking details are available here:  http://arb.ca.gov/fuels/diesel/altdiesel/biodiesel.htm. 


LCFS READOPTION: indirect Land Use Change (ILUC)

NBB's expert team submitted comments this month in response to the third ILUC workshop in November. They commended ARB for adopting previously requested changes, repeated some outstanding suggestions, and laid the groundwork for future improvements. Our industry will engage with ARB regarding their potential consideration of the indirect effects of animal fats and UCO after the LCFS re-adoption early next year. CBA supports the comments of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) on the technical issues related to ARB's updating of the carbon intensities for biofuels. 

LCFS letters of public comment are posted on the 2014 Re-Adoption Letters webpage by workshop date here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/regamend14/2014lcfsletters.htm. 


LCFS Meetings, Activities, and Workshops information and presentations are posted here:   




See the article on recent funding decisions in the California Industry News section above. The next CEC Advisory Committee meeting for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) will take place in February but has not yet been scheduled. 


Meeting presentations and the link to the Docket Log for this program are available here: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2014-ALT-01/documents/.  

This month CBA submitted comments on the 2014 Draft IEPR. The comments expressed concern about the document's over reliance on renewable diesel, citing some concerns that have come to the attention of engine manufactures. It included support for the metrics approach of CEC consultant and former ARB Deputy Executive Officer, Tom Cackette discussed in the draft and provided some updated facts on biodiesel's contribution.

IEPR proceedings details are posted here: http://www.energy.ca.gov/energypolicy/.



This fall several bills became law that increase UST maintenance fees effective January 1, 2015. For details: http://www.boe.ca.gov/news/2014/l391.pdf. 





See the article above on the tax inventive. In our November issue we let you know that the EPA issued a notice regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program's RVO in the Federal Register announcing that it will not be finalizing the 2014 applicable percentage standards before end of 2014. Read the details here:




Please contact the Washington office of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) at 202-737-8801 for questions on these federal policy issues.  





If you are reading this and are not yet a member, please join us! CBA offers several membership levels with the following annual dues.

Producer Board Member
* Production greater than 8 million gallons per year: $10,000
* Production less than 8 million gallons per year: $5,000

Marketer Board Member
* Sales greater than 8 million gallons per year: $10,000
* Sales less than 8 million gallons per year: $5,000

Other Board Member: $5,000
Applicants for CBA's Board of Directors must print and fill out the Voting Membership Application from our Join Us webpage and email or mail it to Celia DuBose at the address listed there.

NOTE: Dues amounts apply whether your business is based inside or outside of California and regardless of where your fuel is sold.

Non-voting memberships are as follows:
* Gold: $3,000
* Silver: $2,000
* Bronze: $1,000

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP (includes nonprofit organizations): $100
* Students/veterans: $25

Membership benefits include:
* Your company's logo, link, and description on our Members webpage (Business membership and above).
* Participation in CBA's in-person member meetings.
* Participation in policy discussions and legislative/regulatory visits in Sacramento.
* Internal email communications on important industry issues as they arise.
* A discount on CBA events.



Anyone can sign up to get this CBA monthly newsletter. Visit our Home page and add your email address (on the left -- scroll down).  




Just click on the "View CBA Email Newsletter Archive" button on ouHome page (on the left -- scroll down).

Thank you for your commitment to biodiesel 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