Thank You, Biodiesel Industry

Thank you to all of everyone who helped make our industry a success last year. We may have a lot on our plate this year, but we are prepared to lead the challenge and work alongside all of you to advocate for American biodiesel and renewable diesel.
By Donnell Rehagen | April 01, 2019

Thank you. Thank you to the biodiesel leaders, champions, advocates and many others who helped make our industry a success in 2018. The U.S. biodiesel industry can proudly look back on a year in which we made some significant progress toward a stronger and more predictable industry. Today, biodiesel is more present than ever in the current marketplace, showing up as a leading player in the fuels industry and delivering on today’s consumer demand for more environmentally friendly fuel.

In January, we celebrated this success at our annual National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego, California. It was rewarding to commemorate a year of milestones with biodiesel pioneers from across the country and remark on an industry that began more than two decades ago. Now we are a nearly 3 billion-gallon-a-year industry and still growing, and we owe a lot of that success to our committed members.

Another big reason for recent growth has been successful policy efforts. These policies don’t just happen. It takes a long, sustained effort to work with our champions to craft policies that work. We are fortunate to have members of Congress who advocate for biodiesel and strong leaders who are willing to lie on the tracks for us. This past year we engaged with organizations like National Renderers Association, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, American Soybean Association, Petroleum Marketers of America, and many more. The National Biodiesel Board has strengthened its reach and relationships by increasing regular dialogue with our industry partners. With this cooperation, we know we can accomplish more. However, in 2019 we will need to continue to work alongside our stakeholders to improve our policy efforts and fight the good fight that is necessary in Washington, D.C.

Our first task will be reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit. For many years, NBB has advocated for a long-term, multiyear tax incentive that provides producers certainty and encourages investment and growth. Last year, however, we fell short of achieving a long-term extension of the $1 per gallon federal biomass-based diesel blenders tax credit. While this was a disappointment, the progress NBB made in having positive conversations with House and Senate leadership about the benefits of a long-term tax credit instead of the on-again, off-again nature we’ve seen over the past 10 years gives us confidence in the opportunity to see success in 2019.

Also, in 2019, the industry will continue to face issues in the Renewable Fuel Standard, such as small refinery exemptions and U.S. EPA’s planned rule changes. EPA announced it will initiate a rule and public comment period to reset the statutory RFS volumes for 2020-’22. The agency triggered this reset by waiving the annual statutory volumes for advanced biofuels by more than 20 percent for 2018-’19. NBB previously engaged EPA on the planned reset and continues to advocate for higher volumes in the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel categories as the agency develops the reset proposal and the 2020 annual rule. In 2019, NBB will continue to pursue litigation that could force the agency to review its past rules and change its methodology going forward.

Additionally, NBB will be focusing its efforts on the U.S. Department of Commerce. Late in 2018, against the expressed wishes of the NBB Fair Trade Coalition, the commerce department granted the government of Argentina’s request and initiated “changed circumstances” reviews of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty orders on Argentine biodiesel companies. The department’s changed circumstances review process typically takes up to 270 days, meaning a final determination could come as late as September. In the meantime, the duties remain in place as established. 

At our conference I said, “Our industry is not for the faint of heart.” Significant challenges present themselves every day, but we can’t give up. We may have a lot on our plate this year, but we are prepared to lead the challenge and work alongside our strong and determined industry to advocate for American biodiesel and renewable diesel. Join us in personally participating in these critical efforts and accept the challenge to move America’s advanced biofuel forward.

Donnell Rehagen
National Biodiesel Board

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