Industry Momentum Paves Way for Future Growth

By NBB | November 02, 2012

Throughout our industry’s 20-year history, we’ve faced numerous challenges as we’ve grown our biodiesel businesses. I often think back to the group of soybean farmer leaders who met in 1992 to form a small development group to research a new biofuel. They had a vision for developing and commercializing biodiesel and in the process launch a new industry that created jobs, diversified our energy supply and benefited their fellow farmers. 

Fast-forward to 2012: The first domestically produced, nationwide advanced biofuel, biodiesel, today has a bright future. The renewable fuel standard has proven very effective as the leading demand driver for the biodiesel industry. Our No. 1 priority is to maintain our position as an advanced biofuel and grow the renewable volume obligation (RVO).

In order to continue providing benefits to our country under the RFS, we must have RIN integrity throughout the biodiesel supply chain by focusing on administrative discipline and continuous improvement in the RINs system. Biodiesel offers a gallon of RIN compliance with every gallon of fuel and we must continue to work as a united industry to demonstrate our industry’s diligence as a reliable source of both biodiesel and RINs. 

I believe biodiesel producers large and small across the country would all agree that we cannot let our industry be tarnished by the unlawful actions of a few who made headlines for their 2010 and 2011 action. NBB worked feverishly to address this with the work of the RIN Integrity Task Force, development of the Genscape program and continuous collaboration with the EPA and the petroleum industry. While this problem continues to be a very difficult issue to address, our industry’s conscientious work will continue on this effort into FY 2013. With NBB members from nearly every state in the country, I encourage you to utilize our NBB Washington, D.C., team as a coordination point in your company’s lobbying efforts. Grassroots advocacy will continue to play a major role in accomplishing our RFS and RIN integrity goals and a coordinated team is needed for a highly effective effort.

We received some most welcome news in mid-September when, after numerous delays, EPA announced the 2013 1.28 billion gallon RVO for biomass-based diesel. This precedent-setting achievement required an extraordinary amount of effort given the enormously challenging political dynamics. Thousands of letters were sent to administration officials and members of Congress. To help make our message widely heard and seen, NBB activated additional paid advertising tactics and enlisted public relations coalitions in key political states. Members aggressively campaigned in Washington, securing more than 60 signatures from members of Congress calling for the volume increase. To be sure, the 2013 RVO victory could not have happened without the grassroots efforts of your work; and the 2014 RVO recommendation will need just as much support, if not more.

The renewable fuel standard remains the focal point for all NBB program activities. Truly successful implementation of the RFS program includes the Advanced Biofuel Initiative, enhanced fuel quality programs, OEM outreach, sustainability research, feedstock research and development as well as technical, marketing and communications programs.

Today, our industry directly supports the livelihood of nearly 10,000 green-collar Americans. Another 25,000 people work in jobs that support, or are supported by, biodiesel produced across the country. With the growth of the RFS, we project the production of biodiesel will support more than 74,000 jobs in all sectors of the economy by 2015.

I congratulate our industry’s earliest visionaries who sat around the table in 1992 and had the courage to begin the biodiesel endeavor. Over the past two decades, our industry has seen production levels expand and contract with new market opportunities or market uncertainty. Through it all, our members have driven forward with passion for energy security, cleaner air and economic development. I am energized by our industry’s recent momentum and hope you’ll join me in continuing to promote America’s advanced biofuel as an engaged and enthusiastic member of the National Biodiesel Board.

Gary Haer, Chairman, National Biodiesel Board

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