California Biodiesel Alliance News
California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association
We begin with a very warm welcome to new members San Diego Airport Parking Company, which joins CBA at the Bronze business level,
and Biodiesel of Las Vegas, which joins CBA at the Gold business
level, bringing Brandon Buff, Vice President and Division Manager, to our Board of Directors.
The events of May 15th, which included the biodiesel industry's biggest California lobby day, are detailed in this issue's lead article. The day was a testament to the value of years of joint CBA/NBB technical and political efforts to bring biodiesel to market in California (as the first CARB-approved alternative diesel fuel), to increase state funding for it, and to safeguard the low-carbon goals it is so uniquely qualified to help achieve.
Carlo Luri, who has a new position with Bently Enterprises, reveals news about his company's expansion into California in this month's Who's Who article. I turned an excerpt from that article into a brief one on the Nautilus Submarine Art Car, of Burning Man fame, which is the brainchild of Bently Enterprises' owner and CEO, Christopher Bently. I don't usually spend time on (or wax alliterative about) diesel vehicles in this newsletter, but you've really got to see this biodiesel imbibing beauty.
Before you click to put our January 20th, 2014 conference on your calendar, please read (and heed) our Policy section, which includes much substance and late-breaking news, including a May 30th legal victory for LCFS in the the California Appellate Court.
I'd like to wish everyone a happy summer before I head off for vacation and let you know that this newsletter will resume in July. Contact CBA Chairman Curtis Wright with anything urgent in the last three weeks of June at: CWright@iwpusa.com.
California Biodiesel Alliance
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CBA Leads Biodiesel Industry Lobby Day in Sacramento
Urges Support for Transportation Incentive Funding
|Don Scott of NBB with Curtis Wright|
and Jennifer Case of CBA outside Assembly Member Gatto's office
This month the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) held meetings over two days in Sacramento for their member companies in the region. On May 14th NBB led the meeting, which provided updates on important organizational and government policy issues of concern to attendees, including those from California, Nevada, and Washington.
The May 15th schedule, focusing on California, was moderated by CBA President, Russ Teall, and included information from CBA's Executive Director and board members on the history of our group, current policy issues, and then culminated in legislative visits in the afternoon. A reoccurring theme of the morning was the consistent and broad technical and policy-related support provided to CBA by NBB and its value in contributing to our industry's growing visibility and stature among California policymakers.
Tim Olson, Office Manager for the California Energy Commission's (CEC) Transportation Energy Office, joined the group for lunch, bringing with him Jim Bartridge, Advisor to CEC Commissioner Janea Scott, who presented an update on their agency's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) under AB 118.
Before fanning out across the Capitol, Mary Solecki of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) briefed the group on AB 8 and SB 11, which will extend the sunset dates on several of our state's clean energy programs, including AB 118, a critical source of funding for our industry. Jennifer Case, CBA's Government Affairs Committee Chair, who oversaw the lobby effort, with assistance from Carly Stockman and Louie Brown of Kahn, Soares & Conway, CBA's lobbyist in Sacramento,
dispatched the group.
NBB staff Joe Jobe, CEO; Shelby Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs; and Don Scott, Director of Sustainability joined CBA members in several meetings providing important data as needed and valued national industry context.
A very successful event, our industry had positive meetings with: Senators Richard Roth, Ben Hueso, Jim Beall, and Bill Mabie, Chief of Staff for Senator Alex Padilla, and Assembly Members Manuel Perez, Das Williams, Mark Stone, Susan Eggman, Luis Alejo, Alan Gray, and John Ferrera, Chief of Staff for Assembly Member Mike Gatto.
CBA's Third Annual Conference
For the second year, CBA's annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference will be co-located with the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, which will be held January 20-23, 2014 at the Convention Center next to the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. As in 2013, the conferences will feature a shared reception on January 20th as our day-long conference ends and the national conference begins.
Nautilus Submarine Art Car
Dazzles at Burning Man and Beyond on B100
Photo by Becca Henry
Since 2006 Bently Biofuels has been delivering biodiesel to participants at Burning Man, a week-long summer arts festival that takes place in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. For the first time in 2012, organizers ran all the event's generators with Bently's B20.
B100 is brought in to power Christopher Bently's Nautilus Art Car, which was inspired by Captain Nemo's submarine from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and built by the Oakland-based artist collaborative Five Ton Crane around an airport tow tractor. This inspired work of retro-futurist art -- with its lab, library, poop deck, GPS, ipad/ ipod/ iphone interface controls, and Harpoon gun water cannon -- is 25 feet long, strictly land-based, and tools around the Playa at 13 mph.
Christopher Bently is the owner and CEO of Bently Enterprises, the parent company of Bently Biofuels. A San Francisco resident, he is committed to implementing environmental practices in all of his businesses.
REGULATORY AND POLICY ISSUE UPDATES
CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: AB 32 CAP AND TRADE
CARB's three-year investment plan for cap-and-trade auction proceeds, which identifies California's greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and prioritizes programs for the investment of proceeds to help achieve them, is now available at
The plan states that "The Governor's January 2013 Budget had proposed investing $500 million from auction proceeds in programs supporting greenhouse gas emission reductions that were currently or could be funded by the General Fund. The Governor's May 2013 Budget proposes to provide a one-time loan of $500 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the General Fund. This loan includes the auction proceeds for 2012-13 and 2013-14. This short-term loan approach allows further time for agencies to design, develop, integrate, and/or modify their programs in a way that maximizes long-term greenhouse gas reductions. In addition, it will provide ARB time to complete the statutorily required update of the AB32 Scoping Plan due at the end of 2013, which can help inform better investment decisions. This approach is also fiscally prudent, particularly during this initial stage of program implementation, as the amount of auction proceeds that will be generated in 2013-14 is unknown."
CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: ADF RULEMAKING PROCESS
CBA and The National Biodiesel Board submitted a joint letter of comment to CARB on May 14th. The agency has scheduled a public workshop for June 13th to discuss new concepts proposed by staff resulting from the discussions at the April 23rd workshop. Before the June 13th workshop, CARB staff will post a preliminary draft regulation order detailing the new concepts and the staff presentation at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/diesel/altdiesel/biodiesel.htm.
CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: LOW CARBON FUEL STANDARD (LCFS)
The LCFS earned a victory on May 30th when the California Appellate Court decided to allow the program to remain in place pending a final decision in the Poet case. CBA strongly supports the LCFS and is committed to defending the program against efforts to eliminate, weaken, or delay it. Toward this end, we are actively engaged with both CARB and a broad range of environmental and alternative fuels groups.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION (CEC): AB 118 FUNDING
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.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION (CEC): IEPR
There is no policy update this month. CBA continues Information gathering toward the goal of providing current, accurate data on our industry for inclusion in the CEC's Transportation Energy Staff Report, expected to be finalized in August. IEPR workshop information is posted at:
DIVISION OF MEASUREMENT STANDARDS (DMS)
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.
STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD: UST REGULATIONS
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).
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
CBA has been working to support two bills, AB 8 and SB 11, that would extend until 2023 the sunset dates on three California clean transportation incentive programs. The programs, which together would provide more than $2 billion in clean air and transportation funding between 2015 and 2023, are Carl Moyer, AB 923, and AB 118. AB 118 provides $100 million per year for alternative fuels and is a key funding source for the development of the biodiesel industry in California. Also see lead article above.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) continues to be challenged on a number of fronts, including by several anti-RFS amendments to the Farm Bill currently pending in the 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, THOMAS, provides legislative information from the Library of Congress, including contact info for your representatives.
Since 1991 the San Diego Airport Parking Company
has served the Airport, Cruise port, Trolley, Amtrak and Greyhound, providing outstanding parking and transportation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Biodiesel of Las Vegas specializes in the resale, production and research of renewable energy, alternative fuel and sustainable biofuel.
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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; $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) after one year of non-voting business level membership. 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).
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WHO'S WHO IN CALIFORNIA BIODIESEL
Director of Business Development, Bently Enterprises
Having worked his way up the corporate ladder at the Italian state oil company, AGIP, chemical engineer Carlo Luri thought he had truly arrived, and he had an office on the 23rd floor of Rockefeller Center to prove it. But in 1991, realizing that he was "just selling downstream chemicals and it wasn't fulfilling," and inspired by the technical work being done to implement the Clean Air Act, Carlo began a masters program in environmental science at Rutgers. He held several management positions with companies developing environmental solutions before joining Kevin Costner's firm in Carson City, Nevada. Costner Industries was developing technology to clean up ocean oil spills, and when Russ Teall, now of BIODICO, called looking for help with a fuel separation problem he was having at his biodiesel plant in Las Vegas, it was Carlo who took a centrifuge down to troubleshoot. Carlo was intrigued by biodiesel, but his opportunity to work in the field would not present itself for another five years.
After Costner wound his company down, Carlo stayed in the Carson Valley and went to work for Donald Bently who had recently sold his company Bently Nevada and was turning his attention to agriculture and other projects. One day he told Carlo about his concern that the diesel needed for the 200 pieces of equipment on his 6000-acre ranch would become expensive, hard to get, and something people would fight wars over. Carlo first asked if he wanted to buy a refinery, which the hugely successful entrepreneur could well have done, having received a considerable sum from General Electric for Bently Nevada. When Mr. Bently said he wanted to make fuel from something he could grow on his ranch, Carlo flashed back to those memorable weeks in Las Vegas, and his course was set. Like so many in the field, Carlo says he fell in love with biodiesel, but clarifies that a key element of that love affair is the personal vehicle - for him a Jeep Liberty, still running strong after 100,000 miles on B100 and winter blends.
In 2004, after a few years of hiring other staff to experiment at the ranch with 55-gallon drums, a home brew system, a chicken coop, and a 1977 Mercedes sedan, Mr. Bently put Carlo in charge of Bently's biofuels business unit. Carlo oversaw the used oil collection from local restaurants, and the Bently Ranch planted and pressed over 500 acres of canola. For the first year all of the steps from harvesting seed, separating, crushing, and processing the oil into biodiesel for use in farm equipment took place within the confines of the ranch. After less than a year of applying for permits and construction, the plant began operation in the fall of 2005. The experiment to grow oil seed in Nevada proved feasible but not cost effective, which led Bently to focus on the collection of used cooking oil to feed the newly built plant.
Beyond the use of biodiesel at the ranch, there was no plan as to how the fuel would be sold. The first idea, to sell to the local community, was implemented with a bunch of 5-gallon carboys and an open house that attracted 600 people, but only saw 20 sales. The second idea was to buy an old mechanical dispenser and plumb it into the main biodiesel tank, which resulted in a few hundred gallons of sales per week but none in winter. After ending up with thousands of gallons of biodiesel in storage, the third idea emerged -- to get a tanker and serve the niche B100 market in Northern California.
Berkeley retailer Biofuel Oasis became Bently's first B100 customer. A year later, Bently added newly opened Dogpatch Biofuels in San Francisco. To meet this clientele's growing demand for fuel from used cooking oil, Carlo began buying from Bay Area grease collector Got Grease. Today, Bently Biofuels operates retail fueling of B5, B20, B99 and E85 in Minden, Nevada and sells to petroleum jobbers and others who buy, blend, and provide fuel to the cities of Reno, San Francisco, and Sacramento. The company's biodiesel production plant is in the process of becoming BQ-9000 complaint and RIN QAP'd.
After eight years as General Manager of Bently Biofuels, Carlo was recently promoted to Director of Business Development for Bently Enterprises, the new company formed by Christopher Bently after his father, Donald Bently, passed away in October of 2012. Carlo will be looking for new business opportunities in keeping with the owner's priorities of sustainability and renewable energy. A new biofuels division, to operate in California, plans to develop a used oil collection center in the SF Bay Area. "We are currently exploring solar energy and electric vehicles beyond our commitment to biodiesel," says Carlo.
In his new role, Carlo looks forward to having the time to work on technical issues and to helping with CBA's policy efforts in California. He is full of ideas, and we are happy to have him put some of his considerable expertise, energy, and enthusiasm to work for biodiesel on this side of the High Sierra.