Biodiesel Conference Blog

See what's happening at the National Biodiesel Conference…

Spotlight on San Francisco Sustainability

NBB 09 San Francisco PanelSan Francisco may be the most biodiesel-friendly city in the United States. No other city of its size has shown greater leadership and commitment to biodiesel than the City by the Bay. From city buses to fire trucks to street sweepers, virtually all city diesel vehicles run on B20.

At the National Biodiesel Conference this morning, we heard from San Francisco city officials about their biodiesel success story. They included (left to right) Marty Mellera with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; Karri Ving with the city’s Public Utilities Commission; Mike Ferry with the City’s Fire Department (who received the Inspiration award from NBB in 2007); and Vandana Bali with the San Francisco Department of the Environment.

They all stressed the importance of quality and how proud they are of the progress San Francisco has made as a leader in biodiesel – truly Leading Change Now!

Listen to the panel discussion here: [audio:]

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Scientists for Biodiesel Declaration

NBB 09 Rob MyersA new initiative was announced at the opening general session of the National Biodiesel Conference Monday – Scientists for Biodiesel.

Founder of the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute Dr. Rob Myers made the announcement as co-chair of the campaign with Donald Danforth Plant Science Center President Roger Beachy. “Scientists sometimes have differences of opinion, but this declaration is intended to show the broad consensus among scientists about the benefits of biodiesel,” Myers said. “Our goal is to increase awareness and information sharing about the depth and breadth of the scientific research behind biodiesel that contributes to its sustainability.” The declaration also calls for more investment into the scientific needs associated with this vital bioenergy source.

By visiting, scientists can share information about their work and sign the declaration which says in part, “Biodiesel from a variety of feedstocks can meet contemporary needs for environmental stewardship, economic prosperity, and quality of life without compromising the ability of future generations to meet these needs for themselves.”

Listen to Myer’s speech here: [audio:]

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Diversity to Overcome Adversity

NBB 09 Jobe OpenNational Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe called on the industry to “leverage diversity to overcome adversity.”

“I’m talking about the true spirit of diversity – inclusiveness, respect and most of all unity,” Jobe told the opening general session at the National Biodiesel Conference in San Francisco on Monday morning.

Jobe noted that the food versus fuel issue has not gone away, but the new wave of attacks on biodiesel is indirect land use. “This issue is poised to intentionally and inappropriately stack the deck in favor of petroleum and we must not ignore it,” Jobe says. “We have to constructively engage in this issue to insist that junk science be called what it is, that perpetrators of nonsense be stood up to and shown for what they are and that only sound science drive this issue.”

Jobe says biodiesel will ultimately prevail “because we have truth and science on our side.”

Listen to Joe’s speech here: [audio:]

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

New Holland Support for Biodiesel

NBB 09 Jobe and HemphillOne of the first companies to realize the potential of biodiesel for both farmers and farm machinery was our good friend Gene Hemphill with New Holland, pictured here with NBB CEO Joe Jobe.

Two years ago, Hemphill received the Biodiesel Innovation Award at this conference for his foresight and support of the industry, which he says goes back over 20 years. “We became involved with it when they were actually calling it soy diesel,” Gene says. “We were the first company to offer a warranty on all of our engines for 20 percent biodiesel and about a year and a half later to offer a warranty for 100 percent biodiesel in all of our engines.”

New Holland’s support for the National Biodiesel Conference includes annual sponsorship of the media room, in addition to other special treats such as the display of Jay Leno’s Eco-Jet concept car. They also sponsor special guest appearances. For the last two years, Gene has brought country star Michael Peterson to the conference. This year, his guest is Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who will speak about his support of renewable fuels and entertain at the Tuesday evening reception.

Listen to an interview with Gene here: [audio:]

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Welcome From Chairman and CEO

NBB 09 Jobe and HeglandEveryone was taking a little time Sunday night to socialize and relax before the real work begins this week, including the chairman and the CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. Pictured here are National Biodiesel Board Chairman Ed Hegland of Minnesota and his wife Dawn with NBB CEO Joe Jobe and his wife Lisa.

I did a very brief interview with Joe to preview the conference this week. He says the economic situation is affecting the biodiesel industry as much as any other industry right now, but they remain optimistic. Overall, Jobe is pleased with the turn out for the conference this week and he is excited about the agenda which features a good combination of “artists, activists, scientists and substantive speakers.”

Listen to my quick interview with Joe here: [audio:]

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Conference Kick Off in San Francisco

NBB conference 09 KickoffThe 2009 National Biodiesel Conference is now officially underway following the traditional Super Bowl kickoff party.

Whether they were fans of the Cardinals or the Steelers – or just the commercials – everyone enjoyed the wide screens, great eats and comfortable atmosphere of the event at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The kick off party was sponsored this year by Biofuels Automation, Core Ventures, NewMech, and SSOE, Inc.

The conference photo album is already started and can be found by clicking on the link below. Be sure to check back daily as pictures will be updated on a regular basis.

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Rehagen Previews Conference

rehagenJust a couple of days away from the start of the 2009 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, and earlier this afternoon, I caught up with Donnell Rehagen, the Chief Operating Officer for the National Biodiesel Board as he was finishing up preparations before flying out Thursday morning for the conference site in San Francisco.

Donnell is really excited about the opportunity to go to one of the country’s major cities that has a real commitment to biodiesel. Nearly the entire municipal fleet runs on B20, so it’s only fitting the city is hosting this great event.

There’ll be plenty of sessions on production, marketing, and of course, making biodiesel a sustainable fuel for generations to come.

Besides the business of the conference, there will be some first-class entertainment AND education, as rocker Melissa Etheridge and actress Daryl Hannah, both big advocates of biodiesel, make appearances.

Donnell says there’s still time for you to sign up and attend. You can do it through the conference Web site or in person at San Francisco’s Moscone Center starting Sunday, running through February 4th.

You can hear my entire interview with Donnell here: [audio:]

Sustainability Featured at Biodiesel Conference

sustainablebiodieselsummit2Sustainability will be one of the key words at this year’s National Biodiesel Conference & Expo starting this weekend in San Francisco. In fact, the Sustainable Biodiesel Summit starts this Saturday, January 31st… a day before the start of the regular conference, bookended with another sustainability event after the NBB conference.

nbb-conf-091According to the summit’s Web site:

As you have come to expect, the Sustainable Biodiesel Summit will provide:

*Experienced and Inspirational Speakers from across the Sustainability Community

*Rich & Practical Session Content for Producers, Distributors, and Consumers

*Case Studies on Sustainability within the Biodiesel Industry

*Exceptional Networking Opportunities

Registration for this important summit by Midnight EST on Wednesday, January 28th. Sign up through the Sustainable Biodiesel Summit Web site.

In addition, on Feb. 4th following the conclusion of the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, the NBB will host the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. The RSB western USA stakeholder outreach meeting will be held directly following the NBB conference at 12:30 pm – 6:00 pm. RSB invites stakeholders to discuss a set of sustainability principles and criteria to be followed by biofuel producers.

Biodiesel Conference Starts This Weekend

nbb-conf-09In less than a week, the 2009 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo kicks off in San Francisco! If you’ve never been, let me tell you, this is the premier event for biodiesel in this country… probably in the world… as producers, consumers and advocates of the green fuel converge to trade notes and figure out how to approach this exciting, growing field.

Journalists, there’s still time for you to register. You can still register on-line by January 28th, 2009 by going to the Biodiesel Conference Web site. Just in case you’re on the fence about going to this event, check out these stories you’ll get to cover on the first day!

ridedrive * Driving Green on Biodiesel – Sunday, Feb. 1
Take a spin around San Francisco in Solazyme’s Jeep Liberty diesel SUV powered by 100% Soladieselâ„¢ biodiesel derived directly from algae.
nbbracer * Racecar Driver for a Day! – Sunday, Feb. 1
Here’s your chance to don a racing suit, take to the track, and appease your inner “need for speed!” NBB and Volkswagen Motorsports are teaming up to offer members of the media the opportunity to experience the thrills of a biodiesel-powered lap around the picturesque Infineon Raceway in nearby Sonoma, CA. Ride along with professional race car drivers from the SCCA Pro-Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series in their official 2009 series race cars fueled with B5 biodiesel.
Meet us at the raceway, or extend your experience by driving there in our provided caravan of the latest diesel vehicles from Volkswagen and Chrysler. Space is limited and advance registration is requested.

cindyzimmermanPlus, there will be media opportunities with music superstar Melissa Etheridge and actress Daryl Hannah, both proponents and ardent users of biodiesel. You can see the entire media schedule here.

And if that’s not enough, you’ll also get to meet ZimmComm media mogul Cindy Zimmerman. She’ll be there covering all the events throughout the conference Feb. 1-4. Who could ask for anything more?

Coverage of the 2009 Biodiesel Conference Begins Here

NBB conference 09California Here We Come!

Coverage of the 2009 Biodiesel Conference and Expo officially starts here on the Biodiesel Conference Blog.

The dates are Feb. 1-4, 2009, the place is San Francisco. If you can’t be there – be here to get all the latest sights, sounds and summaries from the nation’s premier biodiesel event!

Registration information is available here on the Conference website.