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California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  

November 2013    

In This Issue
Biodiesel Industry Fights Back Against Proposed 2014 RFS Volumes: Get Your House Member to Sign a Letter!
2014 Conference: Attend! Sponsor! Exhibit!
CEC Funds Expansion at Community Fuels and Crimsons Renewable Energy



We begin by welcoming new Bronze business member Eco-Energy before updating you on CBA's meetings with Senate and committee staffers and others in DC following the release of  2014 volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Read about our industry's concerted ongoing efforts to raise these levels and how you can help.


This month's Who's Who article features Eric Smith of the SF Bay Railroad, the city's only short-line railroad, which runs B50 in its 1946 ALCO locomotives. You do have to get to the very end to learn why and how Eric, as a CBA volunteer, saved our organization from Edvard Munch's The Scream.  
Then, before you enjoy a long Thanksgiving weekend  . . . . 

To view back issues of this newsletter and CBA Email Alerts 

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

Biodiesel Industry Fights Back Against Proposed 2014 RFS Volumes

House RFS Letter 2014





Deadline to sign is Friday, Dec 6th!   


On Friday, November 19th, the U.S EPA formally issued its 2014 volumes and requirements in itsRenewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Of major concern is that the proposal keeps biomass-based diesel at its 2013 level of 1.28 billion gallons. This unacceptably low volume is an effective cut, given our industry's expected production this year of at least 1.7 billion gallons and would strike a huge blow to our industry and the investment that supports it.   



The following Tuesday, as part of an impressively informed and well organized national effort led by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), California industry representatives met with a targeted list of staffers for Senators Boxer and Feinstein, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Rep. Henry A. Waxman of Beverly Hills is the ranking member) and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Senator Barbara Boxer is the chairman). Our contingent included Jennifer Case, CEO, New Leaf Biofuel; Celia DuBose, Executive Director, CBA; Christina Borgese, Principal and Senior Engineer, PreProcess; J.W. Hackett, Director, Federal Affairs & Policy, REG; and Lindsay Fitzgerald, Director, Regulatory Affairs, NBB.


Our team gave a brief overview of California's biodiesel industry stressing that success for our state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard requires increasing RFS volume requirements. Our arguments were stated most succinctly by Jennifer Case, who simply said she's not sure how she will keep her plant open, having calculated that she would have to sell biodiesel at a 16 cent per gallon loss -- which does not even account for overhead. Writ large, here's what we are looking at (from an NBB handout on the impact of cutting biodiesel from 1.7 to 1.28):

  • Jobs lost -- 7,7000
  • Decrease in energy security -- $61.4 million
  • OMB Social Cost of Carbon -- $136 million (carbon cost benefit) 
  • GHG reduction -- 8 billion pounds
  • Household income/wages -- $333,000,000 
  • Economic impact -- $ 4.550,000,000
  • Consumer price of diesel fuel -- Up  

Troubling to the biodiesel industry is that the EPA's proposed rule is focused on addressing the ethanol blend wall issue, and not based on any problems with biodiesel. EPA staff has stated that opposition to RFS from livestock groups and environmentalists is not directed at biodiesel. Adding to that frustration is that, despite a concerted and persistent effort by NBB's DC staff over many months, which provided detailed recent studies and updated documentation supporting our position, the EPA, in setting the proposed 2014 volumes, used the exact same numbers they used when they set their 2013 numbers, in what some are calling a "cut and paste job."


EPA, in their proposed rulemaking, has called for comments on volume ranges presented for the four categories of biofuels under RFS, and a 60-day comment period will open up once the proposal is published in the Federal Register. CBA will provide more information and ask for your help at that time.   


For now, our focus is on getting our representatives in the House to add their name to the growing list of Members (bellow) who have signed on to this letter to the administration by December 6th. The letter, initiated by Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC and Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), calls for biomass-based diesel volumes of at least 1.7 billion gallons. Let them know that in recent weeks 32 Senators signed a similar bipartisan letter in response to a leaked draft of the EPA proposal in mid-October.


Thanks to those of you who have already been working on this issue, especially Carlo Luri of Bently Biofuels and Lisa Mortenson of Community Fuels, who dropped everything

to join NBB staff for key meetings in DC earlier in the month.  

House Signers as of November 26th (only one Californian so far):  

Tom Latham (R-IA)
Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
Steve King (R-IA)
Bruce Braley (D-IA)
Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Betty McCollum (D-MN) 
Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Rick Nolan (D-MN)
Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
David Cicilline (D-RI)
Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
Jared Huffman (D-CA)
Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Cheri Bustos (D-IL)


Find your House member's contact info at:  

Call the House switchboard at 202-225-3121 
Find  2014 RFS Volume Talking Points and much more at NBB's Fueling Action Center
NBB Fueling Action Logo
California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference 2014      


Argus Logo BIODICO Logo REG Logo  

All registrants receive $100 off the regular price of the co-located

Celebrating Success - Building for the Future!
Monday, January 20, 2014

San Diego Convention Center  

Next to the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina


2014 Conf Logo

Community Fuels and Crimson Renewable Energy  

Receive CEC Funding to Expand Production  



Community Fuels Logo    





The California Energy Commission posted a Notice of Proposed Award for its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program under AB 118 on November 7th, and we are happy to report that member companies Community Fuels and Crimson Renewable Energy were selected to receive grant funding.  


This particular solicitation provided funding for commercial-scale, low-carbon advanced biofuels production facilities, specifically for projects that would have at least 15,000,000 gallons per year of capacity once the grant projected was completed.     

Community Fuels will receive $4,904,375 and Crimson Renewable Energy will receive $5,000,000. 


French fries Beautiful oil  French fries



From post-arbcombo@listserv.arb.ca.gov on November 22: "Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) staff has revised the schedule for the Proposed Update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan (Proposed Update). The purpose of the schedule revision is to provide adequate time for staff to review, consider and incorporate stakeholder comments. ARB anticipates releasing the Proposed Update and Environmental Assessment in late January followed by a February Board meeting that will include additional opportunities for stakeholder feedback and public comment.  In late spring 2014, ARB will hold a Board Hearing to consider the Final Scoping Plan Update and Environmental Assessment. To view the revised schedule, please visit the AB 32 Scoping Plan website at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/scopingplan.htm."  


Also, all current and future allowances were sold at the agency's fifth cap and trade program carbon auction, which was held this month. This marks one year for the program, which has proven to be an undeniable success and has raised more than $530 million to date.

There is no policy update this month. Below is the schedule and process for finalizing the alternative diesel fuels (ADF) regulation. It is quoted from the agency's Oct 23rd listserve email:


"The Air Resources Board (ARB) will conduct a public hearing to consider a proposed regulation governing the commercialization of motor vehicle Alternative Diesel Fuels. 
Date:       December 12, 2013
Time:       9:00 a.m.
Place:     California Environmental Protection Agency
                Air Resources Board
                Byron Sher Auditorium
                1001 I Street
                Sacramento, California 95814

Interested members of the public may present comments orally or in writing at the meeting and may provide comments by postal mail or by electronic submittal before the meeting.  The public comment period for this regulatory action will begin on October 28, 2013.  To be considered by the Board, written comments not physically submitted at the meeting, must be submitted on or after October 28, 2013 and received no later than 12:00 noon on December 11, 2013, and must be addressed to the following: Postal mail: Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board: 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814. Electronic submittal: http://www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/comm/bclist.php

This notice and the associated regulatory materials can be accessed from the Air Resources Board's website at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2013/adf2013/adf2013.htm"

There is no policy update this month.

There is no policy update this month. Last month, In response to the CEC's draft 2013 IEPR, CBA submitted comments addressing some factual errors that we would like staff to correct concerning biodiesel. Also, in response to the lack of any mention of metrics in the AB 118  Benefits Section of the report, we have reiterated our call for the use of metrics under that program, as specifically required in AB 109. 


See article above. Also, a new solicitation is expected soon. 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. 



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 as new and revised forms come in, but revised forms are not labeled as such. Also, please be advised that your CUPA may require engineering approvals for non-integral secondary containment (sumps and UDCs).    



There is no policy update this month.   


See article above on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)!

Eco-Energy is an end to end midstream alternative energy company centered on the marketing, trading, transportation, and distribution of biofuels across North America.



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).    

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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.


Eric Smith  

Eric Smith 

Gov't Affairs Manager, San Francisco Bay Railroad     

In 2007, when then Tellurian Biodiesel business partners Joe Gershen and Eric Bowen began the search for a candidate to head up the San Francisco-based environmental justice (EJ) branch of Green Depot, the
sustainable energy nonprofit Joe had founded in Santa Monica, they didn't have to look far. Eric Smith, a recent transplant from Washington, DC, an exuberant biodiesel evangelist, and a B100 user, was actively engaged as a San Francisco Biofuels Coop volunteer doing fueling shifts, and education and outreach through its "Go Muni Bio" campaign, which urged the transition of San Francisco's diesel fleets to biodiesel. He had built a website for the effort and was singing its praises in meetings with community leaders and city staff, including one impromptu elevator pitch to the brand new CEO of San Francisco's Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA), Nathanial Ford -- literally in an elevator.


Eric was hired as executive director of SF Green Depot after being interviewed by key stakeholders, including prominent EJ activists and biodiesel guru Randal von Wedel, and began carrying out the terms of a grant from the San Francisco Department of the Environment. The education and advocacy grant was focused on bringing the economic, health, and environmental benefits of biodiesel as an environmental justice solution to Bayview Hunters Point and Potrero Hill, the two SF communities hardest hit by asthma, cancer, and other health problems caused by toxic diesel pollution. Eric organized community forums; participated in joint education programs with Green Action, which included seminars to educate truckers working as contractors at the SF Naval Shipyard, a Superfund site; reached out to individual drivers and large fleets operators in the area, including SF Produce Market companies, the SF Food Bank and others; and wrote articles on biodiesel that appeared in the online SF daily, Beyond Chron.



SF Green Depot dealt with challenges, including the higher price of biodiesel, general resistance to change, and more regulatory uncertainty at the state level and fewer B20 OEM warranties than we have today. Eric highlights his work with a group of environmental businesses located on SF Port property that made a huge commitment to biodiesel: Waste Solutions Group, City Grazing (goats instead of pesticides to control vegetation onsite and to clients), and the San Francisco Bay Railroad (SFBR), a Class 3 short-line railroad that serves the City/Co of San Francisco and the Port of San Francisco (hooking up with Union Pacific trains that come up the SF peninsula). He recalls assisting owner David Gavrich in the process of making railyard history, which involved getting rid of some dirty diesel compressors and acquiring a Dodge truck to run on B20, before transitioning the company's trains -- in this case two 1946 ALCO locomotives -- to the blend they have been running on ever since, B50.     


 SFBR Train"The most important point of the story when SFBR trains are featured is that they are an example of how this kind of goods movement by rail can reduce carbon emissions by up to 90%," Eric stresses when talking about appearing in the National Biodiesel Board film shown at their 2009 national conference in San Francisco and recently on local news when the trains were shown bringing in parts for this summer's America's Cup race.


Eric expanded his work in biodiesel when former mayor Gavin Newsom, who did "Go Muni Bio" in a first-in-the-world way by issuing an executive order to run all municipal fleets on B20, appointed him to sit on the San Francisco Biofuels Access Task Force (SFBATF). SFBATF reported to city departments, the Board of Supervisors, and the mayor on all aspects of biodiesel fuel, including city-wide strategies and incentives to increase the use of biodiesel by consumers, vendors, and the city. Eric served as vice chair for two years, through the end of 2008, the life span of SFBATF. He describes that time as the "golden years" of biodiesel in SF when key biodiesel stakeholders, start-up hopefuls, and the city family of agencies (SFPUC, SF Fire Department, SF Port, and SF Department of Public Health) met regularly for updates on all things biodiesel, including the city's fueling program, implementing the new master fuel contract for biodiesel, troubleshooting quality control and UST issues, permitting for biodiesel fueling stations, addressing maritime issues, and more.


Eric wore all of his biodiesel hats when he assisted in transitioning SF Coop members first from fueling at the headquarters of the biodiesel-fueled tour bus company Incredible Adventures to SF Petroleum, which held the city's master fuel contract, then finally to the brand new Dogpatch Biofuels B100 fueling station in Potrero Hill. This involved helping the original owners, Robin Gold and Michelle Swiggers, understand the details of the process and actually get the city's first B100 station up and running. Once this transition was complete, the SF Coop was absorbed into SF Green Depot, which was then absorbed in 2009 into CBA member organization Biofuel Recycling, the nonprofit architect of the SF PUC's Greasecycle program, which collects biodiesel from San Francisco restaurants and turns it into biodiesel for use in the city's fleets.


Currently, Eric works as a consultant for SFBR and serves on the board of Biofuel Recycling. Otherwise, he spends as much time as possible on his long-standing passion, music, as one of the best selling artists on the independent, experimental record label Edgetone Records, under the name E. Doctor Smith. The trajectory of his work in this field -- as a sound engineer and drummer (inventor of the edrum instrument, the Drummstick), and one who has seen the musical mountain top through professional involvement in New York and LA with a host of musicians, including Madonna and Brian Eno -- has provided him with a clear vision and the happy actualization of his musical goal, simply "to make spirits dance."  


Importantly for CBA, Eric has been a volunteer working behind the scenes since 2007 when he jumped in with a masterful rebuild of our website (from shreds found in Google searches) after it was hacked to smithereens by those who proudly announced their national identity and tagged each page with a rendition of Edvard Munch's The Scream. He's been on-call since then, providing vital and timely computer and graphics support as needed. Frankly, we don't know what we would do without him. Thank you, Eric!   

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