California Biodiesel Alliance News
California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association
Because it's an all new day for those with or seeking to have pathways under LCFS, we highlight a very important November 6th, ARB workshop on recertification.
Read more news in the California Industry section from Biodico, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Sandia. The Policy section has updates on a range of issues, including another bill our governor signed that will boost low carbon fuels in the state, and an important call to action on the federal tax credit.
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Governor's Signature on Tax Bill to Boost
California's Biodiesel Industry
On October 4th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1032 into law, correcting a tax problem and clearing the way for a significant increase in the volumes of biodiesel blended in the state. The bill, introduced by Assembly Member Rudy Salas and sponsored by the California Biodiesel Alliance, amended Section 60501 of the Revenue and Taxation Code by adding biodiesel to the law allowing for refunds on non-taxable fuel.
Beginning January 1, 2016, refunds will be available through the State Board of Equalization (BOE) on the portion of the non-taxable (dyed) biodiesel removed from the terminal to those that can show they have already paid tax on that fuel.
Currently, the law imposes an excise or "road tax," on diesel fuel, and allows reimbursement for the amount of such taxes to entities who have used tax-paid fuel in certain nontaxable uses (for which it is dyed red).
The problem is that clear biodiesel is typically sold to refiners and fuel wholesalers then transported by truck from the production facility to fuel terminals. Thus, biodiesel producers are required to pay the state fuel tax on their biodiesel sales, and must then charge the buyers for such taxes. However, refiners and fuel wholesalers have not been able to receive a refund or credit for the tax paid on the biodiesel when the biodiesel is blended with dyed diesel fuel for non-taxable use and removed from the terminal. Until now.
"Our industry estimates that the problem may be effectively preventing biodiesel from being blended into 15-30% of the diesel volume depending on how much dyed diesel that terminal is handling," said Harry Simpson, President of Crimson Renewable Energy and CBA board member. "The problem affects every terminal and refinery rack in the state that is blending, or contemplating blending, biodiesel," he added.
Read the text of the law, which includes details of how to apply for the refund.
ARB LCFS Public Workshop on Pathway Recertification
Friday, November 6th, 2015, Sacramento
After readopting the LCFS late last month, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) moved quickly to schedule a November 6th workshop in Sacramento on how to recertify pathways using the CA GREET 2.0 model. The LCFS Reporting Tool and Credit Bank and Transfer System (LRT-CBTS) will also be covered. In addition, ARB is seeking feedback on a number of issues, including the potential use of third-party fuel pathway monitoring, verification, and voluntary sustainability certification in the program.
The clock begins ticking soon on the new requirement that all CI scores be calculated using the new GREET 2.0. and that pathways will be specific to each company's fuel. The new LCFS goes into effect on January 1, 2016 and requests for recertification (or new applications) are required by the end of that month to assure a new value by the end of 2016. Staff will begin accepting requests for recertification (and new pathways) under CA-GREET 2.0 after the workshop.
According to ARB staff, there will be no use of the new GREET 2.0. scores (including iLUC) until all scores have been recalculated. All data will be entered by ARB staff and released at the same time so that everyone is on an equal playing field. The agency expects a smooth transition with no halt in credit generation. The CIs of legacy pathways will remain in effect until the pathways are recertified or until January 1, 2017. The new CI will go into effect and the previous CI will be deactivated as soon as the recertification is approved.
Staff presentations and additional information can be found at:
The California Biodiesel Alliance Presents the 5th Annual
CBA's 2016 California Biodiesel Conference will be held on February 24th, 2016. This one-day event will take place the day after CALSTART's 2016 Low Carbon Fuels Summit at the same venue, the Capital Ballroom in downtown Sacramento.
CBA's 2016 California Biodiesel Conference is an absolute must for anyone doing or wanting to do business in California. Learn from high-level state officials about the new realities under the Alternative Diesel Fuels Regulation (ADF) and which changes to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) affect biodiesel.
We are excited to bring experts to share how our recent legislative success will boost the market; what strategic alliances -- here and in the region -- mean for biodiesel's future possibilities; the latest on federal regulations, feedstocks, and much more!
Join Us to receive a member discount!
EPA's CARBIO Approval Done Without Sufficient Public Notice
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is asking a federal appeals court to end approval of a proposal that allows Argentinian biodiesel producers to earn Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), saying EPA "failed to provide any notice" before approving the plan.
In January, EPA approved a plan submitted by CARBIO, a consortium of Argentinian renewable fuel producers, which enables biodiesel producers in Argentina to earn RINs on biodiesel exports to the U.S. Under the RFS, imports of biofuels to the U.S. can qualify to earn RINs if importers can develop an "alternative tracking plan" for the biofuels feedstocks. With the approval to CARBIO, biodiesel producers who join the program and follow the protocol can earn RINs for their soybean-based biodiesel.
EPA's approval of Argentine biodiesel imports set off a flurry of criticism from NBB and others, worried that as much as 600 million gal of biodiesel could be sent from Argentina to the U.S. as a result of the approved plan.
In March, NBB filed a petition of reconsideration with EPA, urging an immediate halt to the CARBIO approval. At the same time, NBB also filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
"EPA never published the CARBIO proposal or took public comments on it," NBB explained in its initial court brief filing, on Oct. 8. "On Jan. 27, 2015, EPA approved the proposal ... and notified petitioner [NBB] that it was denying its request to provide for public comment. These petitions for review followed. Aside from a general description from EPA, the first time petitioner obtained details about CARBIO's proposal was when EPA submitted the administrative record ...on June 17, 2015. The record includes no analysis by EPA, but comprises merely correspondence between EPA and CARBIO representatives, including correspondence showing EPA staff were concerned with gaps in CARBIO's proposal," NBB explained.
"Administrative rulemaking requires meaningful public notice and comment. EPA failed to provide any notice of the CARBIO proposal it purports provides sufficient quality assurance to ensure that soybean oil from Argentina, a country that has seen a rapid expansion of agricultural lands, came from lands that were in production prior to Dec. 19, 2007.
Public comments were necessary for the first plan of its kind," NBB continued.
"EPA's review of the CARBIO proposal was arbitrary and capricious in that it did not comply with its own regulations," NBB explained. "There was no explanation or analysis to support the identification of 'go areas' [satellite imagery of lands that were cultivated prior to Dec. 19, 2007] as 'existing agricultural lands,' to ensure feedstock producers, handlers or importers are in compliance, or to even understand the scope of the program. Indeed, EPA appears to have handed its authority over to third parties, one of which has clear conflicts of interest. Thus, EPA could not have ensured that the CARBIO proposal provides the adequate level of quality assurance in clear contravention of its regulations," NBB noted.
"Across the RFS program, EPA has consistently provided the public with notice and an opportunity to comment on its determinations on the eligibility of feedstocks. EPA has not explained why CARBIO's proposal is materially different, so EPA's denial of the request for public notice and comment on the CARBIO proposal was arbitrary and capricious," NBB added.
According to a schedule previously outlined on the court's docket, EPA's brief is due Dec. 22, with NBB's reply brief due Jan. 12, 2016and final briefs due Feb. 16, 2016.
CALIFORNIA INDUSTRY NEWS
) Biodico Presents Results of Five-Year Biofuel Study to Navy, Energy Commission and Governor's Ofice
October 22, 2015 8:00 AM
PORT HUENEME, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Biodico, a sustainable biofuel and bioenergy company, today announced that the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center presented the results of a five-year joint research and development project with Biodico to Assistant Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Dennis McGinn, the California Energy Commission, and California Governor Jerry Brown's Staff.
A group of 30 dignitaries toured the Biodico Facility Technology Test Site on Naval Base Ventura County to see the results of two CEC grants involving collaboration between Biodico, the U.S. Navy, UC Davis, CalPoly San Luis Obispo and others.
"The Navy does not run without diesel fuel, and a major weather event like Hurricane Katrina can disrupt up to 29% of the nation's strategic energy reserves and fuel production. That vulnerability is one of the major reasons why we have had a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Biodico since 2002, to develop a network of regional, distributed renewable fuels and energy facilities 'inside the fence' giving the DOD immediate access to both fuel and energy," said Kyle Lawrence of the Environmental Security Department at NAVFAC EXWC.
The tour included a review of several significant proprietary breakthroughs in biofuel and bioenergy production, including real-time remote process control, anaerobic co-digestion, waste gasification, and high volume sustainable feedstocks.
"The work being done here is a potential game changer for implementation throughout the Navy and Marine Corps," said McGinn. "This facility exemplifies a self-sufficient solution that can help make our fuel and energy supplies more secure, while lowering costs."
The tour of Biodico's facility arrives on the heels of a recently signed climate bill by Gov. Brown to significantly expand renewable energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
During the tour, CEC Commissioner Janea Scott posed the question, "It is great to see the positive results of CEC funded grant projects, but when is this technology going to be commercialized?"
The answer: "We have a new plant being commissioned right now in the San Joaquin Valley, where the biobased fuel and energy will be used by the local farmers and truckers in one of the most economically depressed areas of the state," said Biodico President and Founder, Russ Teall.
"Secretary McGinn toured the site in August and we expect to be in production within the next two weeks. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony during the Thanksgiving break, and everyone here is invited to attend."
Additionally, Biodico's construction crew will be completing construction of a new 10,000,000 gallon-per-year facility at Naval Base Ventura County. Teall said Biodico has identified additional military locations with the Navy and CRADA partners and additional civilian locations modeled after our San Joaquin Valley facility.
(MOUNTAIN DEMOCRAT) Help keep the ski slopes pristine
October 9, 2015
ECHO SUMMIT - Sierra-at-Tahoe is hosting the ninth annual Keep Sierra Clean Day on Sunday, Oct. 11. All members of the community are invited to ride up the Nob Hill chairlift, sweep the mountain of trash and enjoy live music and free lunch on the Solstice Plaza.
In past years, thousands of pounds of trash have been cleared from the summer slopes, brought in by loyal passholders and employees along with community groups and organizations such as the Sierra Education Foundation, local Boy Scouts and West Slope high school ski and snowboard teams.
Sierra-at-Tahoe has been awarded numerous accolades for excellence in environmental education and community-based activism. Programs such as Keep Sierra Clean Day, Pack It In, Pack It Out and up-front parking for hybrids during the season are implemented under Project: Green Sierra.
"Whether it's running our heavy machinery fleet on biodiesel, offering daily shuttles for employees or building with recycled material, we operate with the environment in mind," General Manager John Rice said. "As soon as we ask our friends and family to step in, it becomes evident that this particular community shares our devotion for caring for the environment."
Free ski and snowboard waxing will be offered at Keep Sierra Clean Day, along with free lunch and live music for participants. Event registration begins at 10 a.m. on the Solstice Plaza. Participants are advised to bring gloves; trash bags will be provided.
(BIOFUELS DIGEST) Sandia researchers recycle 2/3 of nitrogen and phosphate in algae cultivation
October 7, 2015 | Meghan Sapp
In California, nitrogen and phosphate nutrients are among the biggest costs in cultivating algae for biofuels. Sandia molecular biologists Todd Lane and Ryan Davis have shown they can recycle about two-thirds of those critical nutrients, and aim to raise the recycling rate to close to 100 percent.
Recycling nitrogen and phosphate has benefits that go far beyond cost. While nitrogen can be produced through a costly artificial nitrogen fixation process using natural gas and atmospheric nitrogen, phosphate is a limited natural resource that can be toxic at high concentration.