NBB and members work to build relationships, educate Congress

By | September 20, 2010
The summer of 2010 can safely be classified as the summer of the biodiesel tax incentive. National Biodiesel Board staff and members focused on the renewal of the biodiesel tax incentive and hosted many media and Congressional events across the country.

NBB took the opportunity during the August recess to host an energy media event with Congressman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. The two addressed a room full of reporters and biodiesel stakeholders on issues regarding the biodiesel tax incentive and the future of the biodiesel industry.

NBB members got involved with the grassroots effort by meeting with Senators and Representatives in Washington, over the phone, and by hosting events at production facilities. NBB provided support for members through talking points, message development, event advisory/press release support, media contacts, and other tips that helped maximize media exposure.

NBB member General Biodiesel Inc. hosted Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., for a tour of its production facility in Seattle, followed by a press conference addressing the need to extend the biodiesel tax incentive. Cantwell said the credit was essential to protecting and creating 350 jobs in Washington State alone.

NBB member BlackGold Biofuels hosted Pennsylvania Democratic Senatorial candidate, and current U.S. Representative Joe Sestak, D-Pa., for a press conference at their Philadelphia Research and Development facility.

NBB member Renewable Energy Group Inc. hosted U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill., at a plant reopening in Seneca, Ill. Halvorson toured the production facility and addressed attendees and members of the media at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Halvorson voiced her strong support for the biodiesel tax incentive, stating the need for market security within the biofuels industry.

NBB member Emergent Green Energy Inc. hosted Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., at its Minneola, Kan., production facility. During the press event, Brownback said tax support is key to keeping biodiesel production facilities going.

These events were just a handful of contacts biodiesel stakeholders made with Congress since the lapse of the biodiesel tax incentive on Dec. 31. While the time without the incentive has been hard on the industry, NBB and its members are taking every opportunity to build relationships in Congress and to educate leaders on the benefits of biodiesel.
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