Breaking records doesn’t happen by accident

By NBB | October 28, 2013

Two decades ago it was a word leaders feared to utter. There was no way; it was too big, too much. Yet 20 years after the biodiesel industry was born, they did it. America’s advanced biofuel broke the B-word. Now it’s not just said, it’s shattered. But records don’t break themselves. They are broken by determination, hard work, persistence and consistency—exactly what the National Biodiesel Board delivers its members year after year to support their priorities.

With support from the soybean checkoff and federal grants, NBB leverages member dues payments. So for every dues dollar invested in policy issues, there is additional funding at work to support key programs like engine testing, communications and sustainability research.

Fiscal year 2013 was one of the most challenging, yet successful years on record for the industry and it set the pace toward our new long-term goal—10 percent of diesel fuel volumes by 2022. The industry overcame significant challenges to achieve nearly complete success on all major industry priorities.

To start the year, the U.S. EPA announced the precedent-setting level for the 2013 biomass-based diesel volume obligation at 1.28 billion gallons. Also, despite historical gridlock in Congress, the biodiesel tax credit was included in the year-end fiscal cliff deal for 2013. Through relentless efforts with the EPA, the petroleum sector and other groups, NBB helped facilitate the successful development of a private sector RIN integrity solution as well as an EPA Quality Assurance Plan proposed rulemaking. These programs have helped restore liquidity to the RIN markets and opened doors to continued volume growth.

Along with the policy successes in Washington, other industry milestones abound. The third year of the Advanced Biofuel Initiative captured 67 million impressions across the country, driving awareness up among target audience members. Significant landmarks in California ensure biodiesel remains competitive in the state’s low carbon market. Chevy unveiled the Cruze as the first American diesel passenger car approved for B20, which triggered additional manufacturers to make moves to stronger biodiesel positions. At the close of the year, nearly 90 percent of the biodiesel manufactured by NBB members now comes from BQ-9000 accredited producers. Internally, NBB expanded its membership to include renewable hydrocarbon diesel producers. As a result, the group now represents the entire biomass-based diesel category of the RFS. NBB also restructured the staff team to bring on new expert resources in Washington, D.C., and on the technical front.

There are a tremendous number of challenges and uncertainties that the industry will face in the upcoming year, but the first 20 years have set a strong foundation. As 2014 heads out of the gate, with a continued collaborative effort the industry is strong and biodiesel is well-positioned to continue breaking records.

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