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California Biodiesel Alliance News

California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association  

November 2014     

In This Issue
Key NBB Staff Embedded in CBA's 2015 Conference: Bring Latest from State and National Fronts
Urgent Request for Calls on Biodiesel Tax Incentive!
Another Industry-Stalling Delay on RFS Moves Decision to 2015
California, Washington Govs Urge Higher RFS Biodiesel, Cellulosic Mandate
Oil Interests Fund 'Astroturf' Groups In Washington, Oregon
A Year Later: British Columbia, California, Oregon & Washington Making Progress on Commitments



SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel is CBA's newest Bronze Business member, and we are happy to welcome them here and in the Member section below. We also wish to congratulate Jennifer Case of New Leaf Biofuel on her re-election to the National Biodiesel Board's (NBB) Board of Governors.

In the last critical weeks of this lame duck Congress, CBA will participate in the NBB's December 4th DC Fly-In by sending a team to meet with key member of the California delegation on the tax incentive. Please see details in the article below and make some calls today! 

Also, in this issue: Unwelcome news that the RFS's 2014 RVO rule has been delayed until 2015 precedes positive news that Governor Jerry Brown joined Washington Governor Jay Inslee in urging the heads of the EPA and the Office of Management and Budget to finalize a strong 2014 RVO rule consistent with a "stable long-term policy outlook." While the Astroturf article doesn't have California in the title, you'll learn that the whole operation is based in Sacramento, and you'll want to click to see a close-up of the graphic!

Recent developments with industry members are included in the California Biodiesel Industry News section. Updates on the time-linked ADF and LCFS re-adoption processes, the CEC's workshop on the latest investment plan, and more are in the Policy section below.   


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.   


Key NBB Staff Embedded in CBA's 2015 Conference 

Bring Latest from State and National Fronts 

All New Conf Logo
Since CBA's inception in 2006, we have worked with the NBB in ways not always visible to the naked eye. But several state agency officials have highlighted this collaboration as a positive example of how to work with them to bring a new fuel to market in California.  


We are extremely grateful for the NBB's generous technical and political support and are happy to showcase that fact by bringing you key NBB staff presentations throughout the day. Our first panel on the benefits of biodiesel includes Don Scott, Director of Sustainability. CEO Joe Jobe joins us as a featured speaker in the middle of the day. Finally, our afternoon panel on the benefits of Clean Fuels Standards includes Shelby Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs.  


Come to Sacramento to learn more about the work NBB does and how our organizations work together to advance biodiesel in California and beyond.


Wednesday February 4, 2015 - Capitol Plaza Ballroom, Sacramento     



-- Critical last few weeks of this Congress --   


Please call all of your members of Congress today and ask them to fight for a Tax Extenders bill that reinstates the biodiesel incentive for two years! Congress is back in session for just a few more weeks this year. There is definitely opposition to some, if not all, of the incentives in the package, but because the biodiesel tax incentive was included in the version approved by the Senate Finance Committee in April in a bipartisan vote, we are hopeful that it will be part of a  bill that makes it through this year  ----- but we need your help!     


Here are DC contacts for Senators Boxer and Feinstein. Links to contacts for your member in the House (as well as talking points) can be found on the National Biodiesel Board's Fueling Action website or by calling their Washington office at 202-737-8801.



Sen Boxer (CA)

Legislative Director

Mr. Sean Moore

Email:    sean_moore@boxer.senate.gov

Phone: (202) 224-3553


Energy Legislative Assistant

Mr. Kyle Chapman    




(202) 224-3553





Senator Feinstein (CA) 

Legislative Director 

Mr. John Watts

Email:    John_Watts@feinstein.senate.gov

Phone: (202) 224-3841


 Energy Legislative Assistant  

 Mr. Trevor Higgins




(202) 224-3841


Another Industry-Stalling Delay on RFS Moves Decision to 2015
The following paragraph is excerpted from the November 21st EPA notice in the Federal Register at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/documents/fr-notice-2014-rf-standards.pdf.  

"SUMMARY: Today EPA is announcing that it will not be finalizing 2014 applicable percentage

standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program before the end of 2014. In light of

this delay in issuing the 2014 RFS standards, the compliance demonstration deadline for the

2013 RFS standards will take place in 2015. EPA will be making modifications to the EPA-

Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) to ensure that Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs)

generated in 2012 are valid for demonstrating compliance with the 2013 applicable standards."


The notice also stated that the EPA plans to take action on the 2014 rule before or in conjunction with the 2015 rule. The biodiesel industry, clearly not pleased by another significant delay, is considering requesting a separate biomass-based RVO. 

Because the RVO rule is a significant one, it must be submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, and a strict 90-time-frame is in place. Because OMB did not finished their review in time, the rule was withdrawn. The hope is that when it goes back to OMB, the turnaround will be a few weeks.  


Don't miss the LA Times article that details some of the national politics involved in the RFS delays and the problems these delays are causing here in California at: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-fuel-fight-20141124-story.html.  


The NBB, which continues its tireless work on this issue, released this statement from Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel immediately after the EPA announcement:

"This Administration says over and over that it supports biodiesel, yet its actions with these repeated delays are undermining the industry. Biodiesel producers have laid off workers and idled production. Some have shut down altogether. We know that fuels policy is complex, but there is absolutely no reason that the biodiesel volume hasn't been announced. We are urging the Administration to finalize a 2014 rule as quickly as possible that puts this industry back on track for growth and puts our country back on track for ending our dangerous dependence on oil. We also urge them to move quickly on 2015 so that we don't repeat this flawed process again next year."


California, Washington Govs  

Urge Higher RFS Biodiesel, Cellulosic Mandate


By Kevin Adler  


In a letter dated Nov. 7, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) urged EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan "to set strong required volumetric obligation (RVO) levels in the final RFS2 2014 rule for biomass-based diesel and advanced and cellulosic biofuels, and to refrain from adopting new methodologies that would curb investment in low carbon renewable fuels." 


For biodiesel, the letter refers to "abundant capacity" in the industry, as evidenced by record production in 2013 and strong production this year. "Under the RFS2, federal agencies are charged with pushing demand for renewable fuels, and are required to set aggressive targets, unless supply is insufficient," the letter stated. 


For advanced and cellulosic biofuels, the letter references new feedstock supply chains in Washington and a new seed oil crushing facility in eastern Washington, as well as algae biofuels research in California. "But these types of opportunities will only be realized if we provide producers with the right policy framework," the governors stated. 


"The RFS was designed with a 15-year timeframe in recognition that investments in advanced biofuels would take several years to bear fruit. The first five years of the policy have seen considerable progress," they continued. "But the significant volume reductions in EPA's 2014 proposal damaged the policy stability that is essential to the success of the RFS, and we are concerned that the same action could be taken in coming years. To restore the stability and certainty that these industries need, the administration should begin planning an updated schedule for outlying years that provides an aggressive but realistic timeline for the commercial scaleup of advanced, low carbon biofuels. Only a stable long-term policy outlook will support the investments required to realize the goals of the program."





Oil Interests Fund 'Astroturf' Groups In Washington, Oregon


By Austin Jenkins 


Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that's designed to look like it's grassroots in nature.


A document obtained by public radio shows the oil industry is at the center of more than a dozen Astroturf groups in Washington, Oregon and California.


At the center of the effort is the Western States Petroleum Association in Sacramento. An internal PowerPoint slide shows WSPA has "activated" -- its word -- several "campaigns and coalitions" to respond to "aggressive anti-oil initiatives in the west."


"That was just an attempt to sort of put on as single slide a graphical depiction for folks as to how many issues we're involved in and the various coalitions that we're working with to represent the industry's point of view," said Petroleum Association spokesman Tupper Hull.

The groups have names like Oregonians for Sound Fuel Policy and Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy. Environmentalists have their own groups. Clean Fuels Jobs in Washington and Clean Fuels Now in Oregon.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Click here to see this article, then on the graphic to see the detailed array of WSPA efforts, many of them in California. 




A Year Later: British Columbia, California, Oregon & Washington  

Making Progress on Commitments


Regional Partnership Reveals a Way Forward as World Prepares for Lima Climate Talks


The Pacific Coast Collaborative -- The Pacific Coast Collaborative released a progress report today highlighting achievements in the first year of the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, last year's regional multilateral agreement integrating climate change and energy strategies for 53 million people on the West Coast.


Since California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and British Columbia's Premier Christy Clark signed the Action Plan in San Francisco on October 28, 2013, the four governments have been actively demonstrating how subnational governments can work together to promote climate action.


The PCC jurisdictions are bolstering their commitments with on-the-ground action, engaging leaders around the world and participating at international climate talks.


As world leaders gathered for the UN Climate Summit in New York in September, the PCC leaders issued coordinated statements calling for bold, decisive action. Looking ahead, the four jurisdictions are working together to move global climate policy forward at the UN Climate Conference convening in Lima, Peru in December and the pivotal UN Climate Summit in Paris in December 2015.


"We hear sometimes how state and provincial governments can't do big things on climate, but in the past year we have shown how our neighbor governments -- bound together by a common interest -- can work together and make progress on the most significant challenge of our time," said Premier Clark, 2013-2014 Chair of the Collaborative.


Among the most significant commitments in the Action Plan, was to develop and maintain carbon pricing and low carbon fuels policies in each jurisdiction.


California and British Columbia have moved ahead with implementation of carbon pricing programs, California with an economy-wide cap-and-trade program and British Columbia with a revenue-neutral carbon tax program. Meanwhile, Washington and Oregon are exploring ways to move forward with similar programs. Oregon is building on existing programs to set a price on carbon emissions. Washington is actively developing a carbon market program, including consultations with stakeholders. All of the jurisdictions are working together to advance zero-emission vehicles, promote building energy efficiency and climate-resilient infrastructure.


The Pacific Coast Collaborative was established to address the unique and shared circumstances of the Pacific coastal areas and jurisdictions in North America by providing a framework for co-operative action, a forum for leadership and the sharing of information on best practices, and a common voice on issues facing coastal and Pacific jurisdictions.


# # #


Pacific Coast Collaborative 2014 Annual Progress Summary:  


Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate And Energy (2013):

http://www.pacificcoastcollaborative.org/Documents/Pacific Coast Climate Action Plan.pdf



British Columbia: Carolyn Heiman, Carolyn.Heiman@gov.bc.ca or (250) 356-7104

California: Governor's Press Office, GovPressOffice@gov.ca.gov or 916-445-4571

Oregon: Rachel Wray, rachel.wray@oregon.gov or (503) 559-1277

Washington: David Postman, David.Postman@gov.wa.gov or (360) 902-4136





  Grease containers Grease containers Grease containers


BIODIESEL MAGAZINE: Buster Biofuels to employ Viesel Fuel enzymatic biodiesel process


By Ron Kotrba | November 11, 2014


Buster Biofuels, a 5 MMgy enzymatic biodiesel plant under construction in Escondido, Calif., is expected to be operational in Q1 2015


A 5 MMgy plant under construction in San Diego, Buster Biofuels, will be producing biodiesel using the latest process technology of enzymatic production.


Buster Halterman, CEO of Buster Biofuels, told Biodiesel Magazine that his company is working with Stuart, Fla.-based Viesel Fuel LLC to install Viesel Fuel's unique adaptation of enzymatic biodiesel process technology in his southern California plant. Halterman said this will allow the company to quickly scale beyond 5 MMgy once up and running. Viesel Fuel is partnered with liquid enzyme maker Novozymes.  


Stuart Lamb, CEO of Viesel Fuel, confirmed his company's involvement in the Buster Biofuels project.


Halterman said construction, underway for more than a year now, is expected to be complete by early next year. He added that the project has taken longer than anticipated because of city-level permitting hurdles. He also said the decision to use enzymatic processing and work with Viesel Fuel came after the plant had already started construction.


"We're excited to be the first enzymatic biodiesel plant on the West Coast," Halterman told Biodiesel Magazine. "Our intent all along has been to build our company slowly, organically and with purpose."


Tactical Fabrication LLC is providing equipment and fabrication services for the project.




BIODIESEL MAGAZINE: Springboard intro's methanol recovery, soap-casting equipment


By Ron Kotrba | November 11, 2014


Chico, Calif.-based biodiesel equipment manufacturer Springboard Biodiesel recently introduced its GL95/MC12/BD380 trio to recover more than 99 percent of excess methanol mixed in with the glycerin that's produced when making biodiesel. The equipment also removes and recovers excess methanol from biodiesel. The company states that after the methanol is recovered at 98 percent purity from the glycerin, the equipment ejects a quickly cooling block of glycerin soap.


"In the biodiesel production world, some groups struggle to manage their glycerin disposal, others struggle to meet ASTM-grade when using a drywash system," said Springboard Biodiesel CEO Mark Roberts. "Recognizing this, we have turned their struggle into an opportunity with the elegant and automated GL95/MC12/BD380 trio. Not only will a biodiesel producer recover the vast majority of the extra methanol used in the reactions, but the equipment will also cast the remaining material into a large block of soap and glycerin, giving a small scale producer more options for revenue."


The equipment is operated from a touchscreen pad mounted on the side of a shared condenser (The MC12) and is, according to Springboard, universally compatible with any biodiesel processing equipment.


A lot of people say they can demethylate glycerin, but can they do it safely, reliably and at this high purity with an automated touch screen?" Roberts asked. "We have done some fairly exhaustive research into what other products are available on the market that perform the functions of the G-95. We have not yet found anything that works at this capacity, with this level of construction and is automated, for anything less than three times the price."


While Springboard Biodiesel has been manufacturing biodiesel processors for several years, its first biodiesel production facility -- a closed loop local system -- was officially opened in May.  


"We think we may have the lowest carbon footprint of any similar biodiesel facility in California, and possibly further than that," said Matt Roberts, vice president of marketing for Springboard Biodiesel. "All of our glycerin is reused, and all of our excess methanol is recaptured and repurposed."  




French fries Beautiful oil  French fries



At ARB's ADF meeting on November 21st in Sacramento, staff presented draft language for the proposed regulation and promised to post new draft language in one week reflecting some of the input from our industry during the meeting. Our industry will provide input on a range of key issues by the December 5th deadline.ADF rulemaking details are available here:  http://arb.ca.gov/fuels/diesel/altdiesel/biodiesel.htm.  


LCFS READOPTION: indirect Land Use Change (ILUC)
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. On November 20th, NBB's very actively involved expert team attended the third ILUC workshop and will submit their next round of comments on December 5th. At the meeting, ARB announced lower ILUC penalties for most biofuels with a proposed penalty for biodiesel made from soybean oil of 27 g/MJ (the current ILUC penalty is 62 g/MJ).  

LCFS READOPTION: Compliance Curve and Cost Containment 

This month, CBA submitted comments on ARB's October 27th Compliance Curve and Cost Containment workshop that supported: the LCFS' original mandate of a 10 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of fuels by 2020; the use of a straight-line approach to that path from 2016 to 2020; and continued carbon reductions beyond that date. The comments included support for ARB staff's preferred cost containment mechanism, the Credit Clearance option, to avoid the possibility of a "low-probability but high-impact price spike." They also supported the proposed $200 as the price that triggers the mechanism and the 3% interest rate on carryover debt, adding the suggestion that the interest rate be tied to a financial index that factors in inflation. To assure the integrity of the LCFS program, CBA requested the adoption of rules with penalties to address fraudulent credit trades and other invalid activities and supported a mechanism to place liability on producers while protecting good faith purchasers. Also, in support of improvements to provide critical certainty to investors, CBA called for a clear and predictable schedule for the review and updating of pathways and CI scores.    

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:   



On November 12th, Joe Gershen, CBA's representative on the CEC Advisory Committee, detailed the need for additional funding for biodiesel at the public workshop on the 2015-2016 Investment Plan Update for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). Gershen's continued call for the use of metrics in CEC funding decisions is gathering support from other Advisory Committee members and meeting with increasing interest from CEC staff.  


Our industry was happy to hear Program Manager Jim McKinney say, "We are incredibly pleased with the way biodiesel producers are making their projects work. We are getting fantastic results. Twelve biodiesel projects have received a total of $36.1 million in ARFVTP support so far, and these have led to an additional 78.8 million gal per year of biodiesel production."

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

The CEC unveiled its Draft 2014 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update on November 24th. The presentation highlighted the immediate emissions reduction benefits of biofuels, specifically pointing out the "tremendous" gains being made by biodiesel and renewable diesel and adding that regulations and government funding are important tools in the move toward biofuels blended with gasoline and diesel.

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



There is no policy update this month. See our Home page for the latest.




See the articles above. Please contact the Washington office of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) at 202-737-8801 for further details.  



SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel
SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel is a leading, BQ9000 certified producer of biodiesel made from used cooking oil collected from thousands of restaurants and businesses up and down the West Coast. 



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:    

  • Discount on CBA's annual California Biodiesel Conference.
  • Your company's logo and link on our Members webpage ($500 level and up).  
  • Special recognition at events and in publications (Platinum members). 
  • Participation in internal email communications, policy discussions, and legislative and regulatory visits.   

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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.

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