California lays groundwork for biodiesel

By Bryan Sims | November 01, 2007
California's aggressive push to increase the use of biodiesel and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been greatly accelerated, thanks to proposals introduced by state legislators in September. The California Biodiesel Alliance (CBA) has also been formed to promote the renewable fuel.

State Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, proposed Senate Bill (SB) 70, which calls for the establishment of blending standards for biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels, including the proper display of blend levels on retail dispenser pumps. The proposed bill would also permit school districts, and local and state government agencies to use up to a 20 percent blend in their vehicles. Under provisions of the bill, biodiesel and renewable diesel must meet the following standards:

Biodiesel used as a blendstock must meet the most recent version of American Standard for Testing Materials (ASTM) spec D 6751.
Finished blends of B99 and below must meet ASTM D 975 specifications.
Renewable diesel must meet U.S. EPA requirements for fuels and fuel additives.
Renewable diesel used as a blendstock must meet the most recent version of ASTM D 975.

State Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, has proposed SB 210. This bill puts the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which charges the California Air Resources Board (CARB) with adopting statewide regulations that would reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels (10 percent) by Jan. 1, 2020, into statute. The proposed standard would apply to all refiners, blenders, producers and importers of transportation fuels.

State Assembly Member Ted Lieu, D-El Segundo, proposed Assembly Bill 236, which states that by July 1, 2009, a vehicle capable of using alternative fuels is required to use those fuels unless they aren't readily available or if other factors exist that may prevent their use.

The CBA was publicly launched in September to strengthen the state's overall awareness and use of biodiesel. The nonprofit organization is comprised of biodiesel feedstock suppliers, producers, marketers and distributors, technology providers, fuel retailers, consumers, and advocates. According to CBA Chairman Eric Bowen, who is also president of Tellurian Biodiesel, the CBA will continue collaborative work with the National Biodiesel Board, state legislators and other biodiesel entities in California. "We're trying to gather more people under our tent and make a more high-profile effort of the whole push to promote biodiesel in California," Bowen said.
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