2012 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo: THE biodiesel event of the year

By Donnell Rehagen | September 08, 2011

Where will you be Feb. 5-8? If you are in the biodiesel business and you said anywhere besides the 2012 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Orlando, you may want to reconsider. After the enormous turn around the industry had this year and the huge market potential created by the federal renewable fuel standard, it is imperative you attend the 2012 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo.

Last year at this time, we were operating in a high level of uncertainty with the extension of the tax credit languishing in Congress. Last year at this time, the biodiesel industry was mostly shuttered with the limited production headed towards mandated markets in just a handful of states. Last year at this time, the RFS2 had just been implemented and hadn’t had any impact on volumes or renewable identification number (RIN) values, leaving everyone to wonder how the market would react. What a difference a year can make!

Last year’s conference was, in fact, a springboard for the industry as production and market demand began to rise sharply soon after. That rise has continued ever since. The U.S. biodiesel industry is on pace for this to be a record year of production.

As the RFS2 continues to be the main federal policy supporting the biodiesel industry, it is important to know the ins and outs of the program. Biodiesel’s role as the only U.S. EPA-designated advanced biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide will become increasingly important to the industry for future growth. The National Biodiesel Board continues to work with the EPA to promote a sustainable level of growth in the biomass-based diesel program. The industry is on pace to meet the 2011 standard of 800 million gallons. NBB testified at an EPA hearing this summer on the proposal to increase the biomass-based diesel volume to 1 billion gallons in 2012 and almost 1.3 billion gallons in 2013.

We are confident that we can meet these production goals as an industry and will continue the job creation the industry has seen in 2011. The RFS2 was developed to wean our country off foreign oil with cleaner homegrown fuels, and we believe that for the first time the program is working as intended. Last year’s conference sessions had bits of the RFS2 riddled throughout. Two general sessions were devoted to federal policy and RINs, two track sessions hit RFS2 basics and managing RINs in a commodity market, and the conference closed out with a three-hour, in-depth RFS2 workshop. While the format may be different at the 2012 conference, the importance of the RFS2 and the markets it creates for biodiesel will be just as prevalent.

Over the years as the biodiesel industry has evolved, the conference has evolved with it. From the beginnings in 2004 in Palm Springs, where most in attendance were there to learn about this thing called biodiesel, to now, where our annual conference is ground zero for the growing business of biodiesel.

As the conference has evolved, it is no longer just a place to learn the latest and greatest information affecting the biodiesel industry; it is becoming a place to do business. I have heard from many of our regular exhibitors that the deals they make at our conference in early February affects their company balance sheet for the entire year.

The National Biodiesel Conference & Expo is the only event that gathers biodiesel decision makers from across the U.S. and the world to explore governmental policy, technical issues and marketing trends in the biodiesel industry. This conference truly has developed into an annual “meeting of the minds” that includes all aspects of the supply chain from the feedstock, production and petroleum industries. The biodiesel business in 2012 will be done at this year’s conference. Those who are there will be two steps ahead of their competitors. I hope you can join us Feb. 5-8 for this can’t-miss event.
See you in Orlando!

Donnell Rehagen, Chief Operating Officer, National Biodiesel Board

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