Biodiesel Conference Blog

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High Stakes In The Biodiesel Business

Texas Hold 'Em SessionAt the opening session of the Conference we had a Texas Hold ‘Em session. The session was moderated by Jess Hewitt, Gulf Hydrocarbon. Other participants included Martin Beirne, Green Earth Fuels of Houston, Mark Farrer, Direct Fuels, Michael Nasi, Jackson Walker L.L.P. and Jonathon Phillips, RBF.

They had a very informal discussion about the “high stakes in the biodiesel business.”

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

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

GM B20 Vehicle Compliance Announced on Stage

Coleman JonesWe heard again this morning about GM’s announcement to have all their heavy duty trucks and cargo vans B20 compliant in 2011.

On hand to make the announcement was Coleman Jones, Biofuel Implementation Manager, GM. He says the new vehicles will be in the marketplace later this year. They’ll be on display at the upcoming auto show in Chicago but he says some of them are on display here. I’ll try to have some photos of them added to the photo album later.

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

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Joe Jobe Looks To Positive Future

Joe JobeThe CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, Joe Jobe, was on stage to welcome a standing room only crowd at the opening general session to the Conference. He opened up with a political theme to his remarks.

As the folks in the opening video stated very clearly, this last year has been a huge struggle for our industry.  With the economic recession, volatile diesel prices, the credit crisis, the blocking of export markets, the delayed implementation of the RFS-2…., even with the tax credit in place, 2009 was really tough.      I heard several NBB members say over the course of this year…. “well, the bright side is that it can’t get any worse”.     I’ve learned it’s best not to say that.  Because we’ve seen over the last 39 days that it could get worse while we have had neither the RFS-2 nor the tax credit in place.  The industry has shut down, businesses are going under, jobs are being lost.  Its been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Our top priority remains getting the tax credit reinstated retroactively as quickly as possible.

Joe says that implementation of the new RFS-2 is going to be very complex so three of the sessions coming up will focus on the subject. He also went on to look ahead on a positive note.

But the good news is that when we get this tax credit turned back on, we will be where we set out to be four years ago. Now is not the time to waiver, or turn back, or to run. Let’s stay together and get this done. Let’s get this industry back in business. We can do this!
Besides potentially doubling our production levels for biodiesel this calendar year, the RFS-2 does something else that is very important. It establishes very conclusively under EPA guidelines and federal law, that biodiesel is an advanced biofuel, because it meets the criteria and definition of advanced biofuel under the law. And the reality behind that is that biodiesel is currently the only advanced biofuel that is commercially available nationwide.

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

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Clean Cities In Texas

The Clean Cities Coordinator for Dallas-Ft. Worth is Mindy Mize. She was on hand to greet the media yesterday.

Mindy says they’re responsible for planning for 16 counties. She says biodiesel is one of their tools that helps them improve air quality. There were several other Clean Cities Coordinators with us as well.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen Mindy’s comments here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Super Start To National Biodiesel Conference

The opening day of the National Biodiesel Conference ended with the traditional Super Bowl party.

Here are attendees standing for the National Anthem before the game. No matter which team you rooted for they were all on team biodiesel! This reception is a great networking opportunity and I can tell you everyone was having fun.

Now it’s on to education and discussing the issues as we get into the meat of the program.

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Greening The Irvine Municipal Fleet

Chuck Interviews Ramiro LopezIf you want to talk to a cheerleader for biodiesel then you need to meet Ramiro Lopez, Direct of Intergovernmental Services, Irvine, TX. He’s in charge of fleets and fuels and he was our guide today when we went to the media ride and drive and biodiesel plant tour.

Ramiro says that in Irvine he’s implemented a program to utilize biodiesel in their equipment. He is very big on tank maintenance and quality. He says it has allowed them to green their fleet overnight and save some money in the process.

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

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Touring Direct Fuels Biodiesel

Direct Fuels BiodieselThe media was treated to a biodiesel plant tour today at Direct Fuels Biodiesel in Euless, TX. It was a very comprehensive tour that included the facilities and learning about their process and even how they test for quality. Jacob McClernon, Quality Assurance Specialist is pictured showing us their cold soak filtration test.

We also heard from Mark Farrer, Director Biodiesel Operations. He gave us a very thorough description of their process and I recorded a portion of it for you to listen to. There are photos from the tour in our photo album which you can access from the link below.

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

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Media Ride and Drive

During today’s media ride and drive event I got to ride in a new Chevy truck that was fueled with B20 from Classic Clean Fuels. My driver was National Biodiesel Board Vice Chairman Gary Haer, Renewable Energy Group. Also along for the ride was Senior Communications Adviser for NBB, Jenna Higgins Rose. So ride along with us and hear about what’s new from GM in the future.

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Ford Shows B20 Commitment On Truck

Ford B20Another vehicle manufacturer was on hand this morning at our Classic Clean Fuels media event. Ford was represented by Brien Fulton.

He was showing off the new badge they’re putting on 2011 model Super Duty pickups. This is what it looks like. Very classy, eh? Brien says the engines in these trucks will be fully capable of running on B20.

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

You can also download (mp3 file) or listen to a short interview I did with Brien here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

GM Announces B20 Compliant Vehicles for 2011

Craig EpplingThe media got to hear from Craig Eppling, Regional Communications Manager for GM this morning. Craig announced that 2011 models of their heavy duty trucks and cargo vans will be B20 compliant. They’ll be displayed first at an upcoming auto show.

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

You can also download (mp3 file) or listen to a short interview I did with Craig here: [audio:]

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Conference Photo Album Started

Biodiesel PumpOne of the first activities here at the National Biodiesel Conference was a media ride and drive event at which we heard from representatives of GM and Ford. I’ll have their announcements coming up.

We held the event at Classic Clean Fuels which has biodiesel pumps in operation with B20 as you can see from the photo. Our test drive vehicles were all filled prior to getting a chance to ride in them. I’ll have a video clip from my vehicle coming up soon too.

I’ve also started a photo album for the Conference which you can find at this link: National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album. I’ll be adding to it periodically throughout the event so please check it often to see new photos.

Welcome to the 2010 National Biodiesel Conference

Hello from Grapevine, TX as we start opening day of the 2010 Conference. This morning members of the media (including yours truly) will partake in a ride and drive to see this year’s line-up of new 2010 and 2011 clean diesel vehicles powered by biodiesel blends. We’ll be doing that at Classic Clean Fuels, a nearby fueling station selling alternative fuels.

Then we’ll be off to a tour of Direct Fuels Biodiesel Plant. I’ll be taking photos and doing interviews to post here for you as soon as I can.

Then it’s time for the Super Bowl party and reception which has become a tradition for the Conference.

So, get ready to learn more about biodiesel and the industry this week “live” from Grapevine. With a name like Grapevine I’m hoping they have some mighty fine wine. Here’s a toast to you . . .

Ready For The 2010 Conference

2010 National Biodiesel ConferenceIt’s time once again for the National Biodiesel Conference and I’ll be your Biodiesel Blogger once again.

You’ll be able to follow along with all the sights and sounds of this year’s Conference right here on the blog. We’d like to thank New Holland for their sponsorship of the blog this year and their support for the biodiesel industry.

You can subscribe to this blog using the RSS Feed Link. We’ll also be podcasting our audio interviews again and that subscription link is here.

See you from the event very soon.