Header Image




Regulatory Matters 


Join Us 


California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  

July 2013    

In This Issue
Rapid Developments in Alternative Fuels Surpassing Expectations: New LCFS Report
SAVE THE DATE! Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit, Aug 27th, Sacramento
Key Californians Learn about Sustainable Farming on Two-day Midwest Tour



CBA is happy to welcome Bently Biofuels, now with operations in California, as its newest Silver business member and to feature a Who's Who article on attorney Graham Noyes of Stoel Rives. If you don't know the important-slice-of-Californian-biodiesel-history story behind this industry pioneer, you are in for a treat. 


The recent IFC report on LCFS is so full of good news that the press release accompanying its publication is printed below in full. Also, find out who learned what about no-till, low-till, and split-till farming and why in the article on the Californians who toured farms and production facilities in the Midwest. 

Thanks to CBA member Sean Hulderman, who attended our all member meeting in Santa Monica this month, for suggesting our newest membership category. Now veterans can join CBA at the same $25 annual dues level as students. Sean, by the way, is both a student and a veteran

Join CBA in supporting the  





To view back issues of this newsletter and CBA Email Alerts 

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

Rapid Developments in Alternative Fuels Surpassing Expectations

New report analyzes recent developments in fuels sector;

Diesel replacements biggest surprise  


Sacramento, Calif. - June 13, 2013 - Industry leaders and investors are heartened by faster-than-expected developments in alternative fuels, according to an industry report released today.  


The alternative fuels market has evolved much faster than anticipated, reveals the report, produced by a coalition of investors, utilities, and makers of alternative fuels and vehicles. For example, sales of electric vehicles are beating early projections, the surge in natural gas supply is helping decrease the carbon intensity in the transportation of merchandise, and biodiesel and renewable diesel are being consumed in much higher quantities than ever before. Although the cellulosic ethanol industry has struggled to produce projected volumes, other alternatives have emerged in unforeseen ways.  


"We know now that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard is exceeding our expectations and driving us towards a clean fuels future," said Eileen Tutt, executive director of the California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC). "The standard is doing exactly what it was designed to do - open the way for new fuels and technologies to compete fairly in the marketplace."

The report analyzes recent developments in the transportation sector and presents three scenarios that ratchet down the carbon intensity of transportation fuels 10 percent to meet the goal of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard by 2020.  


In addition to the three scenarios, the report offers these main conclusions:  


a) California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard is achieving its goal of encouraging technological innovation through private investment;  


b) The standard's goals are achievable within its timeline, given current market conditions and revised estimates of low-carbon fuel availability out to 2020.  


"The market has certainly taken some unexpected turns - we're seeing very interesting, if nascent developments from alternative fuel providers that are both encouraging and reflective

of the market-based approach of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard," said Philip Sheehy, analyst
for ICF International, the independent consulting firm that performed the technical analyses contained in the report.  


Emerging as the report's biggest surprise was the promise of fuels that substitute for diesel, including biodiesel, renewable diesel, and natural gas. These fuels, which can all be used in trucks, are produced from waste materials, including animal fats, corn oil, and the gas that would otherwise escape from landfills. California drivers are rapidly increasing their consumption of biodiesel, up from the range of 20-25 million gallons in 2010. In fact, "2013 promises to be a banner year for biodiesel consumption in California," the report declared.


Biodiesel blended at up to 5 percent with conventional diesel does not require any modifications to delivery infrastructure or vehicles. With recent improvements to the carbon intensity of biodiesel by using feedstocks such as corn oil, waste oils, and animal fats, diesel providers can blend low carbon biodiesel and earn credits for those reductions. Similarly, advances in renewable diesel production using waste feedstocks have enabled the deployment of significant volumes of this fuel in California.  


Finally, increases in natural gas supply, more vehicle offerings, and attractive fuel pricing have generated significant interest for compressed and liquefied natural gas, particularly by fleets in the goods movement sector. Based on new market data, the report assumes that collectively these diesel substitutes will play a key role in the program.  


"It is noteworthy that much of the good news from the state's emerging fuel sector has come during a continuing national recession and consequent drop in clean-tech investments," said Carol Lee Rawn, transportation program director for Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy group. "It suggests that as the economy improves, we can expect even faster progress, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs and investors would be wise to seize this moment to enter the new market."    


Based on new market data, recent industry investment, and likely consumer behavior, the report outlines three scenarios for how California's transportation industry might comply with the fuels standard out to 2020. All three projections point to an increasingly diverse fuel supply, with more innovation leading to more renewable fuels and advanced vehicles.  


"Despite the unexpected advances, there are additional untapped reductions available with slight adjustments to the state's clean fuels standard," said Tutt, at the California Electric Transportation Coalition.  


The report also highlights the benefits in terms of greenhouse gas reductions from two additional low-carbon fuel strategies: the addition of off-road electrification (such as electric locomotives and battery-powered forklifts), and improvements to California's fuel-recovery and extraction processes (using solar energy in crude oil extraction or installing carbon capture and storage technologies at oil and gas wells).  


This report is the first phase of a comprehensive, year-long project to analyze the environmental and economic impacts of meeting California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. It is the work of a diverse coalition, including CalETC, Ceres, E2, the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, the National Biodiesel Board, and the Advanced Biofuels Association.


To find more information and to view the full report, visit http://www.caletc.com/LCFSReport


Media Contacts:

BreAnda Northcutt, BreAnda@catercommunications.com, 916-446-1955    

Danielle English, Danielle@catercommunications.com, 415-453-0430    

Christina Haro, Christina@catercommunications.com, 415-453-0430


Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit

Better Fuel Choices for California's Economy and Environment  


August 27th -- Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sacramento -- 12pm-5pm  

Hosted Networking Reception: 5pm-7pm   


CALSTART, in coordination with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and the California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (CNGVC), is hosting a half-day educational summit for policymakers in Sacramento.  Join CBA in supporting this event!


As some industry stakeholders question the potential of alternative fuels and call for changes to California's fuels policies, there is a need for a broader dialogue on clean, low-carbon fuels in California. This Summit will explore the potential of alternative fuels, the benefits they provide, and the role of policy. Speakers will discuss the following:

  • Recent market and technological developments in clean, low-carbon transportation.
  • The role of state policies and incentives: what is working and what is not?
  • Statewide perspectives on needs, challenges, and benefits.
This business-focused event will be a discussion between industry leaders, experts in the field, and policymakers. This event is by invitation only. If you are interested in attending, please contact Ryan Lamberg: rlamberg@biodiesel.org.

Key Californians Learn about Sustainable Farming

on Two-day Midwest Tour


J. Case & T. Sm...on Tractor
Jennifer Case of CBA
and Iowa soybean farmer Tim Smith 



This June the California Biodiesel Initiative (CBI), a joint venture between the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and CBA, brought representatives from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and influential California environmental NGOs, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, 

the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, CALSTART, Environmental Entrepreneurs, and the American Lung Association to the Midwest for a two-day educational tour and exchange aimed at showcasing modern farming practices, building relationships, and fostering understanding of shared environmental goals.

The tour, which was funded by the National Biodiesel Foundation and coordinated by CBI, NBB, CBA, and the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), included visits to two central Iowa soybean farms, a biodiesel production facility, an ethanol production facility, and the headquarters for the Renewable Energy Group (REG) and ISA.


The Californians learned about advanced sustainable farming practices and the latest improvements in soy biodiesel production first-hand from farmers and Midwest producers. They also had the opportunity for in-depth discussions with key NBB staff, including Joe Jobe, CEO; Don Scott, Director of Sustainability; and Shelby Neal, Director of State Government Affairs, aimed at clarifying issues related to food vs. fuel, agribusiness, indirect land use change, (ILUC) and mono-cropping.


In follow-up surveys, participants expressed their appreciation for a unique and productive educational experience, including meeting with the Iowa and Minnesota Soybean Associations, seeing the details of sustainable practices like no-till, low-till, split-till, and learning from farmers that they support those practices for their benefits to the soil, water retention, the environment, and emissions.


Jennifer Case, Chair of CBA's Government Affairs Committee and member of the NBB's Governing Board, highlighted the value of the last day's visit to the Iowa Soybean Association. She was one of the Californians who was impressed to see that ISA had gathered and charted data from the state's farmers on the impact of a wide-range of practices (chemicals, water, till or no-till, cover or no cover crops, etc) on yield. According to Case, the impressive matrix showing that green practices are the most efficient and the most cost effective sparked a discussion about whether the California farming industry would benefit from a similar analysis.


CBI Executive Director, Ryan Lamberg, said, "The national biodiesel industry supported this important exchange in order to proactively address some of the issues that have historically been of concern to those who influence California policy." The tour was part the biodiesel industry's efforts to ensure the success of California's landmark carbon reduction program, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which has come under attack. LCFS requires reductions of 10% of carbon by 2020 in the state's transportation fuel pool. It requires a full lifecycle assessment of the carbon impacts of the production and transportation of fuels sold in the state. Since its inception in 2011, LCFS has been a boost to the state's biodiesel market, and its success is expected to increase demand 30-fold or more in the coming years, potentially up to 800 million gallons per year.


CBI's mission is to promote the benefits of biodiesel throughout California with a special focus on outreach to groups and key individuals in the environmental community.      


French fries Beautiful oil  French fries



CARB staff held its second public workshop on June 13th to discuss the continued development of regulatory concepts for establishing fuel requirements for alternative diesel fuels (ADF). This included new concepts resulting from the discussion at the previous workshop held on April 23rd. CARB staff presented a Preliminary Draft Regulation Order and Draft Proposed Amendments to the California Diesel Fuel Regulations. The last public workshop is expected to be held in August in Sacramento with final rules to be adopted in the fall. All related documents and information can be found at:  
On July 15th the Fifth District Court of Appeal for California issued its opinion in the case Poet, LLC vs. ARB.  POET, LLC is a Midwest ethanol producer and had argued that ARB violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) in its adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).  POET, LLC was seeking a stay on the implementation of the LCFS until the errors were addressed.  The Court sided with POET in finding that ARB made errors related to CEQA and the APA but refused to stay the LCFS.  The Court directed the agency to resolve the issues to bring the LCFS into compliance with CEQA, including addressing the potential environmental impact of NOx emissions from biodiesel.  CBA continues to monitor the issue and will provide updates as more information becomes available.


The CEC adopted its 2013-2014 Investment Plan Update for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program at a Business Meeting on May 8th. All details of the plan, which allocates $23 million for Alternative Fuel Production facilities, are posted at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/2012-ALT-2/. Interested parties are encouraged to subscribe to the CEC's Alt Fuels Listserv on that page to stay informed of upcoming solicitations.



CBA board members Russ Teall and Joe Gershen will present the results of CBA's extensive industry surveys at CEC's Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) workshop on July 31st for inclusion in CEC's Transportation Energy Staff Report, an element of the 2013 IEPR Report. IEPR workshop information is posted at:    


There is no policy update this month. CBA continues its participation in the fuels working group of the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) consortium, which is designed to find solutions to fiscal challenges facing the program due to mandatory General Fund reductions. DMS is involved with biodiesel standards, testing, and labeling.   


There is no policy update this month. CBA urges compliance with the new 2012 permanent regulations governing UST storage of biodiesel. See our Regulatory Matters webpage for more information and links to the State Water Board website that posts the new compatibility forms from equipment manufacturers. The Water Board list is constantly being updated and revised forms may not be labeled as such. Also, please be advised that your CUPA may require engineering approvals for non-integral secondary containment (sumps and UDCs).    


Both AB 8 and SB 11, bills that would extend until 2023 the sunset dates on three California clean transportation incentive programs that provide more than $2 billion in clean air and transportation funding between 2015 and 2023 (Carl Moyer, AB 923, and AB 118) have passed out of their respective houses with bipartisan votes and super majorities. There is still work to be done before the end of the legislative session in early September. Although both bills have had some amendments, including those related to metrics and hydrogen funding, the overall substance, dollar amounts, timelines, and eligible project types remain the same, however, and all coalition members are continuing to support both bills. The bills now must go through policy committees in the other house -- AB 8 in the Senate and SB 11 in the Assembly. Hearing dates for AB 8 have yet to be set, but on July 1, the Assembly Transportation Committee voted 10-3 to pass SB 11. The next stop for this bill is the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, scheduled for Monday, August 12th

Contact info for California state legislator can be found here: 




Senate leaders are moving forward with a bipartisan effort to reform the tax code beginning with a "blank slate" and are asking affected parties to demonstrate why their tax provisions deserve to be continued. NBB is taking the lead for our industry. CBA submitted letters to Senators Feinstein and Boxer urging that they to recommend to the Senate Finance Committee, specifically Senators Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch, that a long-term incentive for the production of biodiesel be included in the Senate's tax proposal. Thanks to the CBA members who also contacted our Senators on this matter. Let's keep it up until we get a package from the Senate.


Also, anti-RFS amendments to the Farm Bill were defeated in the US Senate.  


CBA encourages you to develop a relationship with your representatives in Congress and to let them know how important the RFS is for your business and our country. The RFS creates jobs, contributes to our energy security, diversifies fuel supplies, and reduces harmful emissions.  In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, THOMASprovides legislative information from the Library of Congress, including contact info for your representatives.  

Bently BIofuels logo

Bently Biofuels recycles used cooking oil into renewable biodiesel, and provides bulk and retail sales of alternative fuels.



If you are reading this and are not yet a member, please join us. CBA offers membership levels with the following annual dues: $25 for students and veterans; $100 for individuals and nonprofit organizations; $500 (Bronze business level); and $2000 (Silver business level). Full voting board level memberships are available by application at $3000 (Gold) or $5000 (Platinum). Our Join Us webpage has details and an easy online membership fee payment process.

Membership benefits include:   

  • CBA's Email Newsletter with important industry updates and features about Who's Who in biodiesel in California and Action Alerts when your help can really make a difference.
  • Participation in internal email communications, policy discussions, and legislative and regulatory visits. 
  • Discount on CBA's annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference.
  • Your company's logo and link on our Members webpage ($500 level and up).  
  • Special recognition at events and in publications (Platinum members).    

_______   SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS  _____


Anyone can sign up to get CBA's special Alert emails, which we send out when we need biodiesel stakeholders and enthusiasts to take action on important issues facing our industry. Visit our Home page and add your email address.  




Just click on the "View CBA Email Newsletter Archive" button on ouHome page.

Graham Noyes

Graham Noyes

Partner, Stoel Rives, LLP



Attorney Graham Noyes had already decided he wanted to move away from the field of criminal law, which he had worked in for eight years as a public defender in Sacramento and in his own private practice in San Francisco, when some friends gave him Josh Tickell's book From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank. Based on a long-term interest in renewable energy, he became particularly fascinated with biofuels. Then after discovering Randall von Wedel of Cytoculture and reading about his biodiesel work in California, Graham realized he had found a field he could be enthusiastic about and that he believed was going to take off.


Inspired by the dot-com boom, Graham spent a year looking at possibilities, including starting his own biodiesel business, but decided in favor of a regular paycheck and reached out to World Energy in Boston. Despite his initial skepticism about hiring an attorney to do sales, World Energy founder Gene Gebolys brought Graham on, giving him all the territory west of the Mississippi. Beginning in 2000, Graham established the early infrastructure and the networks for this region, which initially involved totes, then truckloads, then rail cars. Leveraging his legal background, Graham also participated actively in regulatory proceedings, drafted sales contracts, and familiarized himself with the well-established petroleum distribution network and quality control system.


From his first office in downtown Half Moon Bay, he began meeting with Randall, and in 2001 the two of them teamed up with the Bluewater Network and Olympian to open the first B100 station in the United States. The opening press conference at the station on 3rd Street in San Francisco was attended by then California Energy Commission official Peter Ward and Shaine Tyson of NREL, who announced to the world on CNN that "now people have a choice at the fuel pump." This seminal event was a turning point for biodiesel in California. It didn't just provide access to the fuel, it inspired and empowered many who became industry leaders in the state, including Eric Bowen, who went on to co-found the California Biodiesel Alliance (CBA) and serve as its chairman for the first six years.


Realizing that he could do his work from anywhere with airport access, Graham and his family moved to Nevada City in 2002. He was promoted to Vice President of Sales at World Energy and worked to develop the company's nation-wide distribution system. In 2006 Graham was recruited by Imperium Renewables to serve as VP of Sales and Business Development as the company was building the first of four planned 100 million gallon biodiesel plants. Graham relocated to Bainbridge Island, Washington to join the company. But in 2007, according to Graham, Imperium's long-term plans got caught up in the "front end of the recession" when the IPO window essentially closed. To the company's credit, original founder, John Plaza, core investors, and sales team leaders like Todd Ellis were determined to succeed with the Gray's Harbor Plant and have since proven successful.


But having experienced seven years of rapid growth and dramatic volatility in the biodiesel industry, Graham decided he could best contribute by returning to the practice of law. He was particularly drawn to Stoel Rives, a law firm with a national practice in renewable energy that was willing to bring a biodiesel industry insider on board, even one who had never before practiced at a law firm other than his own. Graham joined the Seattle office of Stoel Rives and successfully built out his practice to represent clients involved in the wider bioenergy industry, including biomethane, waste to energy, and related advanced technologies. In 2012 Graham received accolades from the readers of Biofuels Digest who named him one of the "Top 100 People in Bioenergy." The Digest also awarded Graham a Book of the Year award for his work The Carbon Rush: America's Path to Fire and Gold. Continuing Graham's life-long fascination with energy, The Carbon Rush reconstructs the history and growth of America's energy sources, infrastructure, and technologies.


Today, Graham is back in California. Early this summer he moved his practice with Stoel Rives to the company's office in Sacramento where he is assisting clients who want to tap into the growing market for biofuels and bioenergy in the state. And he is continuing his focus on helping clients with AB 32 and California Air Resources Board (CARB) obligations and with enforcement proceedings. Graham brings with him extensive experience with the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and an impressive list of publications and presentations. His clients have included large firms such as Solazyme, Tetra Tech, and the Southern California Gas Company.  


"Because biodiesel has always been an important part of my practice, I know it best and have a deep appreciation for the biodiesel industry and the people who work in the industry," says Graham, who has served as Secretary of the National Biodiesel Board's Governing Board. He adds that, although biodiesel in California has had some hard times and faced serious challenges in recent years -- including lapses in the Blenders Credit, long-term skepticism from CARB, serious set-backs due to RIN fraud, and threats to LCFS, which he believes will continue to make it a controversial area for the foreseeable future -- he believes that LCFS and RFS are proving their value by successfully incentivizing innovations in plant efficiency, achieving emissions reductions goals, and contributing to energy security. He emphasizes that under RFS biodiesel has a special place as an advanced biofuel that is supplying the hundreds of millions of gallons that cellulosic ethanol has not yet delivered and because all future growth under that program will be in the advanced biofuel space.


Glad to be back, Graham says, "California, with its special status in air quality regulations and its large, diverse economy, has always had an important position in the fuel world and is the leading state on clean energy issues." He is impressed with the sheer volume of activity on bioenergy in Sacramento these days and excited about "looping in" with California's biodiesel industry and those working to achieve the goals of the LCFS. At CBA's annual conference this January, Graham encouraged attendees to work with the larger biofuel and petroleum communities toward finding common ground and harmonizing state and federal regulations to achieve energy security and GHG reduction goals.


Graham points out that he has been pleased to reconnect with and learn about the biodiesel industry members who have endured the tough times and succeeded in the state. CBA is similarly pleased to note Graham's success. We heartily welcome back this valued California biodiesel pioneer and look forward to working with him toward shared goals.

Thank you for your time and efforts on behalf of biodiesel. I look forward to working with you.  



Celia DuBose

Executive Director

California Biodiesel Alliance