Biodiesel Conference Blog

See what's happening at the National Biodiesel Conference…

Former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt

Matt BluntFormer Missouri Governor Matt Blunt joined us during the conference today. Here he is pictured with a few members from the Missouri Soybean Association right after doing a ride & drive with some new biodiesel powered cars and trucks. Matt is now the President of the American Automotive Policy Council and lives in Virginia. By the way, he also has a small herd of beef cattle.

Matt took the stage today to deliver a powerful speech. Here are a few excerpts from it and you can listen to his full speech below.

American ingenuity and perseverance are expanding energy supplies across the board– and biodiesel is no exception. Americans would much rather have American farmers working to fuel our transportation industry than foreign leaders who do not share our values or our commitment to free government.

As both a former governor and a Naval officer I can tell you energy security remains among biofuels’ most important benefits.

Sending billions of dollars every year to nations that do not share the interests of the United States is clearly not an ideal public policy

Growing our own fuel is growing agriculture in Missouri and across the country. With soybean production in 2014 at a record level of nearly a billion bushels, soybeans are the second-most-planted field crop in the United States after corn.

And the United States is the leading soybean producer and exporter.

As new fuels enter the marketplace, whether biodiesel, renewable diesel or any other product, it is important that existing fuels remain readily available to fuel vehicles currently on the road, in order to protect consumers and their vehicle warranties.

It is essential that the auto industry and government stakeholders continue to work collaboratively to ensure the diversification of the U.S. transportation fuel supply occurs in a manner that is technologically and economically feasible, and in no way harms consumers.

You can listen to Matt’s speech here: Matt Blunt Speech

2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

NBB Chair Encourages Members

Steven LevyThe Chair for the National Biodiesel Board is Steven Levy, Sprague Operating Resources. He took to the stage this morning in our general session to provide an inspiring message to members who have been facing some serious odds in the last couple years. But he told everyone about how important it is to keep trying in order to obtain success using a quote from Thomas Edison.

Across the biodiesel industry, we’re not just trying to accomplish something – we are delivering. Part of the impetus for our success is the strength of our combined expertise and collaboration.

Ultimately, Edison didn’t succeed alone. He pioneered the concept of a collaborative lab, drawing on the knowledge and talent of a diverse group of creative scientists and engineers.

Likewise, NBB taps the technical expertise and business acumen of our members – and merges that powerful talent base with the specialized skills and knowledge of our leaders, our staff, and our consulting experts.

Working together, we are far more effective, far more formidable, and far more unstoppable in our mission.

You can listen to Steven’s remarks here: NBB Chair Steven Levy Remarks

2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

First Day of Activities

NBC Conference SessionThe first day of activities are about to conclude here in Ft. Worth. Things got kicked off with a number of sessions on different topics before our general session featuring the speech from Joe Jobe. I have some additional items from today I’ll be posting as time allows and hope to have all coverage completed by the end of the week. From today this includes a leadership discussion with industry leaders and some special recognition for a very special person.

Right now I’m heading downstairs for our Alternative Vehicle Showcase and Student Poster Session. So please enjoy the photos I’ve got uploaded for you to view and share so far.

2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Meet the Press with Joe Jobe

Press with Joe JobeAfter this morning’s general session NBB CEO Joe Jobe met with the press. This gave reporters a chance to ask specific questions about not only his earlier speech but also more background and details on what is happening (or not happening) with the RFS and tax credits.

Listening in will give you a good sense for what kinds of questions reporters are asking. As you may guess, politics and what might or might not happen in 2015 consumed a lot of the discussion

You can listen to the press conference here: NBB CEO Joe Jobe Press Conference

2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

NBB CEO Fires Up Conference Attendees

Joe JobeTalking about how much the truth matters and calling once more for cooperation from the petroleum industry on the RFS, Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board, got attendees fired up this morning during his opening general session speech. He received a standing ovation at the end of the speech when he loudly proclaimed:

2015 is the year we get back to the future of this program. Back to the future of this industry and this country. We are the ones on the right side of history, and we have a powerful force on our side. The truth. So rise up with me people. Rise up and tell our story. Rise up and take the RFS back in 2015.

Only by diversifying the transportation fuels market and providing competition to crude oil can the U.S. truly achieve energy security, he explained.

“The RFS is a good policy – it is pro-competitive, pro-consumer, free-market capitalist policy,” Jobe said. And, “2015 was intended to be a turning point for the RFS,” he said. “For the first seven years, conventional biofuel was designed to lead the growth in volumes until 2015 where conventional biofuel is statutorily capped at 15 billion gallons. From 2015 on, advanced biofuels are intended to lead the growth of the program. And so far, biomass-based diesel has emerged as the only domestically-produced, fully commercialized advanced biofuel.”

You can listen to Joe’s full speech here: Joe Jobe Speech

You can find a press release on the speech with this link.

2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Starting Off the 2015 Conference

National Biodiesel ConferenceThe 2015 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo is just kicking off in Ft. Worth, Tx. We’re at the Fort Worth Convention Center and our opening general session will take place tomorrow morning. Keep an eye here for information from the sessions as they take place over the next couple days.

I am thrilled to be working as the Biodiesel Blogger again for what will be the 10th year!

So, let’s get things started with some pictures. I’ve got an online conference album started for your viewing and sharing pleasure: 2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

2015 National Biodiesel Conference

2015 National Biodiesel ConferenceIt’t that time! Time to look ahead to the 2015 National Biodiesel Conference. Here’s an excerpt from NBB CEO, Joe Jobe, as he looks ahead.

In my seventeen years in the biodiesel world the most predictable dynamic of this growing industry has been unpredictability; a constant evolution of the market and its ever-transforming challenges. Managing through the ups and downs of business cycles and market changes is a part of every business. But we have had more than our fair share. For many it has been do or die at almost every turn. Since day one, this industry’s success, or size, or even very birth has been peppered with unknowns and all out battles for a spot at the transportation energy table. This year is no different.

So get registered if you have not yet and make your plans. Besides great professional improvement and motivating speakers there will be lots of opportunities for industry networking. Let’s get motivated and we’ll see you there.

Eye on Biodiesel Pioneer Award

Mike HaasReceiving an Eye on Biodiesel Pioneer Award for lifetime achievement serving the biodiesel industry at the convention was Mike Haas, of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Haas has been a Lead Scientist and Research Biochemist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service since 1981. He has been a huge supporter of the biodiesel industry and currently leads a project investigating the production and quality enhancement of biodiesel, and the chemical modification of lipids to produce bio-based petroleum replacements. Haas and the USDA have been a key supporter of the annual Biodiesel Technical Workshop and currently provides leadership for the NBB’s Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program.

You can listen to Mike’s remarks here: Mike Haas Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Eye on Biodiesel Inspiration Award

RADM (Ret) USN Len HeringLen Hering, a retired Rear Admiral from the U.S. Navy, gave an absolutely wonderful speech during the closing general session of the conference. You might want to share a link to it (listen below) with your friends and family and perhaps even the EPA! In addition he received an NBB Eye on Biodiesel Inspiration Award. Len is also the Executive Director of the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

Hering, is a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader instrumental in bringing B20 to naval bases. In his 32 years of Navy service he was known as a top expert in base operations and facility support with an emphasis on sustainability. His efforts included everything from renewable energy, including biodiesel, to responsible water use, photovoltaic technology, and conservation. Within three years, his team reduced energy consumption by nearly 42 percent, diverted 75 percent of Navy waste from landfills and reduced water consumption by more than one billion gallons, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. President Bush awarded Hering a 2005 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management.

You can listen to Len’s remarks here: Len Hering Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award

Richard CoreyThe Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award was presented to Richard Corey, California Clean Air Resources Board during this morning’s general session.

The State of California continues to serve as a national and world leader in regulations related to environmental sustainability, and the California Air Resources Board is at the heart of those efforts. In January of 2010, Air Resources Board staff successfully implemented the first ever market-oriented carbon reduction policy for transportation fuels, a policy known as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Since that time, use and production of biodiesel and other renewable fuels has increased significantly. Californians have since enjoyed the benefits of cleaner air, growth in green jobs, and increased fuel diversity.

You can listen to Richard’s remarks here: Richard Corey Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Kirk Leeds Receives Industry Partnership Award

Kirk LeedsThe Eye on Biodiesel Award for Industry Partnership was presented to Kirk Leeds, Iowa Soybean Association this morning.

Kirk is Chief Executive Officer of the Association and has been a leader among soybean organizations in supporting biodiesel efforts since the industry’s inception. ISA’s support of the National Biodiesel Board over the years has allowed the industry to prepare and face the challenges of being a billion-plus-gallon Advanced Biofuel. His visionary leadership has helped to maintain a mutually-beneficial, strong connection between the soybean and biodiesel industries. Kirk and ISA have been at the forefront of improving agriculture’s environmental performance. Through partnerships with farmers, environmental groups, agri-business and academia, ISA is helping lead efforts to identify practical solutions for complex environmental issues.

You can listen to Kirk’s remarks here: Kirk Leeds Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Lifetime Achievement Award

Don Borgman AwardToday Don Borgman, John Deere, was honored with a National Biodiesel Board Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the biodiesel industry.

Later this year Borgman will be retiring from John Deere after over 40 years of service. Most recently he served as the Director of Agricultural Industry Relations for John Deere’s North American operations. He has been involved in the promotion and expansion of demand for agricultural products since the late 1970’s, and his work was instrumental in John Deere’s acceptance, support, and promotion of biodiesel.

You can listen to Don’s remarks here: Don Borgman Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Address by NBB Chair Steven J. Levy

Steven LevyThe Chair of the National Biodiesel Board is Steven J. Levy, Sprague Operating Resources LLC. This is his first conference as the Chair so when he spoke at today’s general session he told a little bit about himself and his background. He’s the first NBB Chair who is not a farmer, producer or from the Midwest.

Steven spoke about the work of the National Biodiesel Board and the challenges that it will overcome by being a unified voice for the industry.

You can listen to Steven’s remarks here: Steven Levy Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

The Policy Climate

Policy PanelIt wa.s time for a little policy on stage this morning at the conference. NBB’s Anne Steckel provided a legislative update during our general session before leading a panel with former Senator Bryon Dorgan and Representative Kenny Hulshoff.

It made for a lively discussion as they discussed the current ability of Congress to make progress on important issues, the situation with the RFS and other topics of special concern to everyone involved in the industry

You can listen to the session here: Policy Climate Session

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Ride and Drive Day

Ride and DriveIt’s ride and drive day at the conference. Even the general public is invited in to pick a new vehicle to test out. On hand are company representatives to answer questions about the vehicles too.

There are four vehicles outside the San Diego Convention Center from Hino, Ford, General Motors and Jeep. I chose the Chevy Cruze and rode along and made a little video clip with my Google Glass. It will give you an idea of what the experience is like.

There are lots of new photos in our online album now too:
2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Chevy Cruze Receives Innovation Award

Innovation AwardThe first of this year’s Eye on Biodiesel Awards was presented this morning for Innovation. It was presented to General Motors and the B20-Approved Chevrolet Cruze.

General Motors continues to be a leading biodiesel supporter among OEM’s. This year the company took another step forward introducing the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel – the first B20-approved light-duty passenger sedan. This new technology diesel engine powered by ultra-low sulfur biodiesel blends provides tailpipe emissions as clean as or cleaner than natural gas and gasoline, while providing superior fuel economy, horsepower and durability. The Chevy Cruze is the cleanest diesel passenger car model ever produced by General Motors and with the use of clean, renewable B20, it’s also now the greenest.

Accepting the award was Shailesh Lopes, Sr. Fuels Engineer, GM Powertrain, Fuels Group. Making comments was Chris Farmer, Manager of Aftersales, Chevrolet Southern California.

You can listen to comments from Chris here: Chris Farmer Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Become the Winning Underdog

Jim CraigHopefully many of you remember or know about the 1980 Winter Olympics when the U.S. Hockey Team won gold. It’s one of the greatest moments in U.S. sports history. Well today the goalie for that team took the stage to talk to us about winning teamwork – Jim Craig.

Jim gave a very motivating and inspirational speech in which he encouraged all elements of the biodiesel industry to come together as a team. When comparing the industry to the petroleum industry in this fight that includes the current RFS situation he said to “Become the winning underdog.” I visited with him right after his speech.

You can listen to my interview with Jim here: Jim Craig Interview

You can listen to a brief excerpt of Jim’s remarks here: Jim Craig Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Joe Jobe Opening Speech

NBB Joe JobeThis morning Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board, rallied the troops at the National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego. He told attendees that the petroleum industry is misleading Americans about fuel policy and called on President Barack Obama to stand firm behind his previous commitments to supporting alternative energy industries.

In his annual address at the Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jobe shed light on current industry challenges and exposed cracks in how we think about energy.

He pointed out that biodiesel’s story is not unique, “Biodiesel’s story is an example of how effective government policy can be to jump start a fledgling industry. That is the same story of nearly every new industry that involves technological development. Strong government policy support along with a unique spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and risk-taking are the primary reasons that so many major modern industries had their start in America.”

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Going Strong in San Diego

2014 National Biodiesel ConferenceThe 2014 National Biodiesel Conference is already going Strong here in San Diego. Attendees got registered today and started networking right away. For many, it’s like seeing family again.

This evening we got together for a welcome reception at the San Diego Convention Center. It looks like we’re going to have an even larger crowd than was first thought!

I’ve got photos to share with you and tomorrow will have full coverage of the opening general session and interviews and more. Right now you can find photos online which I will be adding to when I can throughout the convention: 2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

2014 National Biodiesel Conference – Strong

2014 National Biodiesel ConferenceIt’s that time. The 2014 National Biodiesel Conference is next week folks. Hope you’re ready. I’ll be on location once again and working as the Biodiesel Blogger bringing you all the action.

Things will get going late Monday and through Wednesday. You can find the program here. I’ll be sharing lots of photos and interviews as I find them. Hope you enjoy them.

John Davis, DomesticFuel.com, got a preview of the conference from NBB CEO Joe Jobe last month. Listen in here: Joe Jobe, CEO NBB