Biodiesel Conference Blog

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Biodiesel Music Available

Emily Richards and Jason BrockI’m going to close out our online coverage of this year’s National Biodiesel Conference with one more post on Emily Richards and Jason Brock. The photo is from one of the screens that was displaying them during their time on stage at the conference.

Emily announced that she and Jason have been working on a music project since last year’s conference. They’re using a service called CCMixster and have published the first of three albums. This first one is available for a free download right now. It’s already on my iPhone.

Emily says they wanted to create an album of music on biodiesel. They created a project called, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remix” or R4. They had about 50 musical contributions from the CCMixter community. The Brown album is the first of what will now be 3 albums. You can learn more about how the R4 project worked with this link.

After the final general session concluded I interviewed Emily and Jason along with CCMixster member Bob Nunnally. Jason describes the CCMixster community and how it fits in well with the biodiesel community.

You can listen to Emily’s comments about the new album project and their performance of one of the songs, Harmony, here: [audio:]

You can listen my interview with Emily, Jason and Bob here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

More On RFS-2

Larry SchaferWith RFS-2 being such an important topic to anyone in the industry right now I conducted another interview on the subject with Larry Schafer, The Diamond Group. Larry moderated one of the panel discussions on the subject at the conference.

He says that the EPA has published the regulatory rules on line and there are a number of forms that will need to be completed for purposes of registration. NBB will conduct a number of webinars on the subject before July 1st which is the date set for the regulatory requirements of RFS-2. He encourages companies to get registered as soon as possible. All plants will need to be registered even if they were under the older RFS program. He says registration will take a while but there is time to get registered before the new start date. He encourages you to go to the EPA website for more information now.

You can download (mp3) or listen to my interview with Larry here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Eye On Biodiesel Awards

The NBB’s 2010 “Eye on Biodiesel Award” categories and their winners are:

Terry TaylorImpact: Terry Taylor, Sysco Corporation.
Sysco, North America’s leading foodservice marketer and distributor, has led the way in implementing biodiesel in private industry. The company first began using biodiesel in 2005 as part of its comprehensive sustainability program. Terry Taylor, Sr., Director ˆ National Purchasing, says he saw it as a greener alternative that was a simple way to help our country also reduce its use of foreign oil. Sysco has distribution centers across the nation and in Canada and has a company policy to use biodiesel blends, wherever possible, up to B20. The company today uses about 2 million gallons annually of blended product in its fleet of 9,000 diesel tractors and straight trucks, and 11,000 refrigerated trailers.

Wayne HettlerInspiration: Wayne Hettler, St. Johns Public Schools, St. Johns, Mich.
This Michigan school bus fleet manager convinced his district to switch to B20 in 2002. It has since clocked more than 3 million miles on B20. His enthusiasm for biodiesel has helped inspire other fleets make the switch. He has talked to many school districts and other fleets from across the U.S., offering technical advice and support. Hettler also partnered with NBB to provide detailed data on maintenance. His records showed that thanks to fewer oil changes and not needing to buy fuel conditioner, his fleet saved money with biodiesel.

AOCS and Gina ClapperIndustry Partnership: The American Oil Chemists’ Society and Gina Clapper.
AOCS is a global professional scientific society in the fats, oils, surfactants, detergents and related materials fields. In keeping with its mission to be a forum to promote the exchange of ideas, information, and experience, AOCS has provided numerous opportunities for those in the biodiesel field to share knowledge, including two international congresses on biodiesel, several publications, short courses, and technical sessions at its annual meeting. Technical Specialist Gina Clapper has been instrumental in coordinating the development and approval of new biodiesel test methods. Faster, simpler, more cost-effective tests help the industry provide high quality biodiesel meeting ASTM standards at a lower cost to consumers. Clapper also has taken leadership roles within International Organization for Standardization (ISO) activities and the Biodiesel Expert Panel of the AOCS.

State Soybean AssociationsInitiative: The Iowa Soybean Association, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, and Nebraska Soybean Association.
When NBB issued a call to action for the biodiesel industry to submit comments to EPA on its proposed Renewable Fuels Standard rules, soybean farmers answered the call. These three organizations led the way for the biodiesel industry in submitting comments into the EPA. They alone generated more than a third of the 8,000 comments biodiesel supporters submitted regarding the proposed standard. The result demonstrated biodiesel’s and the Renewable Fuel Standard’s importance to a broad range of stakeholders.

Ramiro LopezInfluence: Ramiro Lopez, City of Irving, Texas.
Lopez initiated B20 in the City of Dallas in 2002. Since then he has mentored other fleets, and about a dozen fleets now use biodiesel in the area. He has also mentored fleets nationwide, and spoken at national events about his successful program. He now works for the City of Irving.

“The biodiesel industry is blessed with many champions and true believers,” said Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. “Each of these winners has helped carry the biodiesel torch, fostering understanding, mentoring others and encouraging broader use of a cleaner burning, sustainable fuel.”

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Family

Emily and JasonIt’s about time to fly home from the National Biodiesel Conference so I thought I’d leave you with some more music from Emily Richards and Jason Brock.

This is from their new Brown album which is available via ccMixter. I’ll get a link from them to post for you later.

I have a number of items that I’ll post after getting back to the home office. I hope you’re enjoying our online coverage of this year’s conference.

You can listen to Biodiesel Family here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Closing Comments From Joe Jobe

Joe JobeJoe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board took the stage to lead the final general session today. I spoke to him afterward to get his comments on the conference and the industry in light of what the speakers have said during the last several days.

Joe says “it’s really been good” referring to the conference. There was an expectation that attendance would be down and especially with the weather and the announcement of the final rule on the RFS-2 last week but people showed up. Joe says that NBB is planning webinars to help the industry understand the new rules. He says that he echoes a feeling of optimism as expressed by many of the speakers who were on the program. Looking ahead he says that the industry is policy driven and NBB will work as hard as it can to “get the policy right.” That includes not only the RFS-2 but a long term biodiesel tax credit.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to my interview with Joe here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Notes On RFS-2

RFS-2 SessionWe have had three panels discussions on the new RFS-2 and they had to be moved to larger than scheduled rooms to handle all the people who want to hear about the new rules. You are encouraged to look to the National Biodiesel Board as a significant source of information on this very important subject. They will be compiling more information and are planning some instructional webinars too.

In the meantime, to learn more about it, I spoke with Paul Argyropoulos, EPA Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Transportation & Air Quality, who spoke at one of the sessions. I asked him what’s most important for the industry to know now. To start with he says, “We have a final rule which I think provides certainty to the market.” He then provides some additional points of importance specific to the biodiesel industry. I can’t figure out how to summarize them and they’re too long to translate so you’ll have to listen to the interview to hear them. That’s just the way it is with regulations this long and complicated. At this point he encourages you to dig into the regulations and understand what the reporting requirements are. He says they’re willing to work with you and they’re planning to produce some webinars as well. Paul says you can go to their website to get more information.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to my interview with Paul here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Looking Into Biodiesel Feedstock Future

Anne FrickBesides our panel discussion this morning addressing feedstock realities we also heard from Anne Frick, Prudential, who also addressed the topic.

To start her comments Anne says the industry depends on an ample supply of reasonably priced feedstocks. She talks about the international market since soybean oil is currently the major feedstock and it is impacted so much by what happens outside the country.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to her comments here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

NBB Governing Board Takes Stage

NBB BoardI’m really glad I brought along a wide angle lens to get a group photo of the Governing Board of the National Biodiesel Board.

These folks were recognized on stage during our final session today for their work in leading the organization.

Remember that you can find larger sized versions of all the photos I’m posting, including this one in the online photo album with the link below. If you need a really high resolution version then just contact the NBB office. They will have them by the end of the week.

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Feedstock Realities

Feedstock PanelThe final general session of the conference featured a panel session titled, “Feeding the Biodiesel Machine: Understanding Feedstock Realities of Today and Tomorrow.”

Captivating new feedstocks for biodiesel have grabbed headlines around the world. But which hold the most promise for expanding the biodiesel industry’s immediate and long-term feedstock needs? What’s the secret behind playing the commodities market… and winning? In this panel we heard from industry experts with the inside track on feeding the feedstock machine. They included Dr. Dick Auld – Texas Tech University, Anne Frick – Prudential, Dallas Hanks – Utah State University, FreeWays to Fuel, Mary Rosenthal – Algal Biomass Organization and David Slade – Renewable Energy Group.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to the panel discussion here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

It’s Time For A Fuel Change

Okay biodiesel fans. I’ve got a lot of content to post here and hope to have it all up by tomorrow afternoon. It’s a travel day home after the end of this year’s conference.

If you’ve ever attended a National Biodiesel Conference then you know Emily Richards and Jason Brock. These music stars are passionate about their belief in renewable fuels and have been regular performers at the conference. This morning they took the stage during the closing general session and played some songs from a new album they’ve put together to promote biodiesel. I’ll have more on that in a later post.

In the meantime, I thought you’d enjoy a video of them being joined on stage by National Biodiesel Board Chairman, Ed Hegland and CEO, Joe Jobe. They did a variation of a song you’ll recognize and so give a listen to “Time For A Fuel Change.”

You can also listen to the song here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Member Reception

After all the sessions were completed today members of the National Biodiesel Board got to relax with a nice reception. If you’re not a member of the NBB then you should become one!

We’re going to have another great day of sessions tomorrow with a morning general session on Understanding Feedstock Realities of Today and Tomorrow. I’ll be posting information from it as soon afterward as possible.

In the meantime, I have the photo album up to date so please feel free to browse it and download any that you’d like.

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Enterprise Plans Fleet Conversion To Biodiesel

Enterprise Biodiesel AnnouncementEnterprise Holdings made a major announcement this morning at the Conference.

Enterprise Holdings today announced plans for its entire fleet of more than 600 Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental airport shuttle buses across more than 50 North American markets to begin using at least 5 percent biodiesel (B5).

Pictured at the press conference are (l-r) Joe Jobe, CEO NBB, Dr. Richard Sayre, Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels, and Lee Broughton, director of corporate identity and sustainability for Enterprise Holdings. Each of them spoke at a morning press conference.

Further, the company will immediately convert buses in nine markets to 20 percent biodiesel (B20) as a first step toward the company’s goal of converting its entire bus fleet to B20 over the next five years.

Enterprise Holdings expects to complete the conversion to all B5 by spring of this year, with at least 50 percent converted to B20 by the end of next year. Buses in nine markets are immediately being converted to run on B20 where the fuel is centrally stored and available: Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio and San Diego.

“This investment in biodiesel follows our commitment to our customers and our business to use our fleet to help grow the clean fuel market. By embracing alternative fuels and engine technologies, they have a greater opportunity to become commercially viable,” said Lee Broughton, director of corporate identity and sustainability for Enterprise Holdings. “Biodiesel’s benefits to the environment support our commitment to environmental stewardship, as well as our sustainable approach to managing our business for long-term success.”

In addition to embracing biodiesel and other alternative fuels as they become commercially viable, Enterprise Holdings also provides strong support for renewable fuels research. In 2007, the company’s owners, the Taylor family, made a $25 million grant to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis to create the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. Led by renowned plant researcher Dr. Richard Sayre, top scientists work at the Institute to develop alternatives to finite fossil fuels by finding new ways to create fuel from renewable, reliable plant sources.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to their press conference comments here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Petroleum Panel

Petroleum PanelIf you’re wanting to know where biodiesel will sit at the oil company table then you’re in luck because we had a morning panel discussion that included experts in the field to talk about it. The RFS-2 will likely mean that these companies will be adding biofuels to their product lines which has the potential to double biodiesel production in a single year. You’ll hear this talked about in the discussion.

The moderator for the discussion was Ron Marr, Minnesota Soybean Processors and presenters included David Blatnik, Marathon Petroleum Company, LLC; John Cusick, Morgan Stanley Capital Group, Inc.; Bruce Heine, Magellan Midstream Partners; Jim Lelio, Kinder Morgan Pipeline Group; Mike Reed, Northville Product Services.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to the panel discussion here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Addresses Conference

Sec. VilsackU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack couldn’t be with us in person but he was via pre-recorded video.

He says the the President has made revitalizing rural America a priority at USDA and that renewable energy production, including biodiesel must be a part of it. He says that he knows how important the extension of the biodiesel tax credit is and he hopes that Congress will support it sooner rather than later. He talked about the RFS-2 mandate and says that USDA is prepared to use its resources to help the industry meet those mandates. He says that USDA is already making matching payments to folks delivering biomass for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program and that they have qualified nearly 450 biomass conversion facilities

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to Sec. Vilsack’s comments here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

NBB Chairman On Stage To Fuel Change

Ed HeglundToday’s general session featured National Biodiesel Board Chairman Ed Hegland. He’s completing his final term as Chairman.

He started his comments by reminding everyone that today is the anniversary of daylight savings time which was created to conserve on our energy supply during World War I. It was an innovative idea then, and when it comes to the innovative work the industry is doing today he says, “We’re here to fuel change.”

Ed pointed out that there are members of all segments of the petroleum industry here today and they participated in a panel discussion after his comments. I’ll post that shortly. He presented some of the findings from a research study done by NBB on consumers and their awareness and perceptions of biodiesel. He says the study finds that consumers who are aware of biodiesel have a favorable opinion of it. He also talks about being a soybean farmer and the incredible technology that is allowing him to grow more with less.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to Ed’s speech here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Texas State Representative Honored

Rick HardcastleDuring the opening session of the Conference a special award was presented on stage.

Texas Representative Rick Hardcastle received the “Texas House Member of the Year Award.” He’s from Vernon, TX.

The award is presented annual by the the Biodiesel Coalition of Texas. Making the presentation on stage was Jess Hewitt, Gulf Hydrocarbon, Inc.

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Conference Trade Show

SGS Trade ShowThe National Biodiesel Conference trade show is in full swing. This evening we had a networking reception in the Expo Hall sponsored by SGS North America.

Here are our sponsor all in smiles at their booth.

The trade show provides a great opportunity to visit with companies and service providers for the industry. There is a central “networking” area set up with chairs and couches to help facilitate comfortable discussions.

I’m going to try to get some interviews with our exhibitors tomorrow after the morning general session and post for you here.

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

NBB Chairman Ed Hegland

Ed HeglundThe Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board is Ed Hegland, seen here as a guest on today’s AgriTalk show.

Ed says that attendance was something they were very concerned about here at the Conference due to the state of the industry and the weather but they had to bring in 100 extra chairs to the opening general session so he thinks attendance is better than expected. He’s optimistic for the future because of the EPA RFS-2 ruling and the expectation that the biodiesel fuel credit will be re-instated soon.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to my interview with Ed here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

AgriTalking With New Holland

AgriTalkOur sponsor for the National Biodiesel Conference Blog is New Holland. Unfortunately, Gene Hemphill, New Holland, was not able to join us here due to the weather problems on the east coast.

However, he did participate in today’s AgriTalk program which was conducted live in the media room here at the Conference. Pictured is AgriTalk host Mike Adams who spoke with Gene live via phone on the radio show.

In the segment of the show you can hear Gene talk about the relationship between New Holland and biodiesel. It has been a strong one for over two decades. He says they’re putting their efforts into promoting their support of biodiesel in shows like the National Farm Machinery Show which will take place later this week in Louisville, KY.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to the New Holland segment of today’s AgriTalk here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Economist Don Reynolds Optimistic For Future

Don ReynoldsEconomist Don Reynolds was the keynote speaker at the opening general session. He appeared on stage two years ago and predicted the problems in our economy. Today he started out on a very optimistic note in part due to his belief that we’ll continue to see a growing recovery of the economy. His comments were meant to help participants define what is the “new normal” in today’s business environment.

You will enjoy his entertaining style filled with facts and figures that help you better understand what the future may look like. He thinks it’s looking very good.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to Don’s speech here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album