State Policy Successes Build Valuable Markets for Industry

The National Biodiesel Board's state policy program is a key piece in advancing biodiesel markets and relies heavily on coordination with members and regional stakeholders.The industry saw a number of state policy milestones achieved in 2017.
By The National Biodiesel Board | October 18, 2017

The National Biodiesel Board works hard to be a coordinating voice for the industry, taking the direction of our members and implementing it in concrete ways to build up the industry. NBB’s state policy program is a key piece in advancing biodiesel markets and relies heavily on coordination with members and regional stakeholders. The biodiesel industry saw a number of state policy milestones achieved in 2017 that will help build valuable market demand for America’s advanced biofuel.

On West Coast, Carbon Reduction is King
Biodiesel plays a key role in West Coast policies focused on carbon reduction. Continued successful implementation of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Oregon Clean Fuels Program increased demand for biodiesel in the two states from 315 million gallons to 455 million gallons collectively in 2017. These volumes generated carbon credits in excess of $250 million in real value that was injected into the biodiesel industry.

The California Air Resources Board announced in July its approval of a NOx-mitigant additive for biodiesel blends that was developed through an NBB-led effort over the course of more than 18 months. This first-of-its-kind approval by CARB will ensure access to B20 blends throughout California. The additive takes already clean-burning biodiesel and ensures it reduces every measurable regulated emission, including NOx, when blended with California’s unique diesel formulation called CARB diesel. B20 blends are now certified as the lowest emissions liquid fuel available within the state.

New York Expands Bioheat For Cleaner Air
On the East Coast, New York state passed legislation this year requiring B5 Bioheat in eight downstate New York counties beginning in 2018. The bill will expand New York City’s biodiesel blending standard to 70 percent of the state’s residents, or nearly 14 million people.

“New York has long been a leader in recognizing the environmental, public health and economic benefits of biodiesel, not only in transportation applications but in the heating oil market as well,” said Shelby Neal, NBB director of state governmental affairs. “We commend Gov. Cuomo for signing this important bill that will provide cleaner air for more New Yorkers by improving emissions from heating oil. Increasing the use of Bioheat in the nation’s largest heating oil market also supports local jobs in the clean energy sector.”

The bill expands on New York City’s previous commitment to biodiesel, a citywide 2 percent biodiesel requirement implemented in 2012 that increased to 5 percent Oct. 1.

Illinois, Minnesota Extend, Expand Landmark Policies
Biodiesel champions in the Midwest continued to build upon long-running, proven efforts that support biodiesel market growth with continuation and expansion of policies in Illinois and Minnesota.
This year, Illinois passed a five-year extension of its diesel fuel sales tax exemption for biodiesel blends over B10. The policy has made Illinois one of the largest biodiesel markets in the country at more than 150 million gallons of annual use.

“The biodiesel sales tax incentive in Illinois has been a tremendously successful policy supporting the growing market for American-made advanced biofuels,” Neal said. “It spurs economic activity, supports U.S.-produced fuels, and adds value to the agricultural economy. Illinois is a top-five biodiesel producing and use state, and this policy extension will help maintain the state as an industry leader.”

Minnesota, the first state to require a biodiesel blend in 2005, is taking another historic step as it announced this summer it is ready to move to B20 on May 1, 2018. Once implemented in May, the requirement will be in effect April through September, reverting to B5 in the winter months.

“Minnesota has been a visionary leader on biodiesel policy for 15 years, starting with passage of the nation’s first statewide biodiesel requirement,” said Neal. “This milestone policy couldn’t have been achieved without the hard work of so many of our members and biodiesel stakeholders’ dedicated efforts.”

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