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Feb 15

Written by: abauman
2/15/2012 9:50 AM  RssIcon

BioDiesel Conference Recap

Orlando, FL offered a warm reprieve for this year’s National BioDiesel Conference. However, an unseasonably warm weather left many energy companies questioning how it is going to impact their bottom line compared to last year’s blustery winter. In addition to the warm weather the industry is facing two major issues, defense of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and fraudulent RINS (biodiesel credits sold to obligated parties by false biodiesel producers).

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

In BioFuels Digest Magazine National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe glowed, ‘ “The RFS works,” in marking the industry’s first billion-gallon production year in 2011, as industry benefitted from a now-expired $1.00 per gallon biodiesel tax credit, and from the billion gallon mandate called for under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).’

In addition, he noted that “biodiesel was one of the brighter spots in the US economy in 2011, adding 25,000 jobs throughout the year as production revived under the influence of RFS… The RFS is vulnerable this year on Capitol Hill,” and it will be a top priority of the National BioDiesel Board (NBB) to defend it.

While the Oil heat associations strongly support the RFS, Oil refiners are quite unhappy with it. Oil refiners feel it is flawed and needs revisions because it requires them to purchase RINs where there are not enough to go around, and then punishes them for not complying.

RINS fraudsters get the crackdown

Under EPA rules and the federal law each gallon of biofuel has a Renewable Identification Number (RIN). The RIN can be separated from the actual gallon produced and fairly traded to provide income for biodiesel customers who are not obligated by RFS to those who need to be compliant with renewable credits.

In 2011, the EPA served two notices of violation to obligated parties for RINS sold fraudulently. The two companies, Absolute Fuels in Texas and Clean Green Fuels of Maryland combined have 80.4 million fake or declared invalid credits – neither produced the credits they claimed to have sold.

No surprise, the refining industry is up in arms, they are nervous what this means and want steps taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The NBB is cracking down to establish a RIN integrity task force and create harsh regulations for RINs fraud.

Event Spotlights

  • Hino Trucks – Honored as “Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award” for leading the way as a hybrid truck manufacturer in supporting B20 biodiesel blends
  • KU Biodiesel Initiative - Collegiate Biodiesel Producers Forum Interview, opportunity for collegiate producers to share their ideas and learn how to work together better with industry organizations
  • AMERIgreen – Mind your B’s & Q’s – Certified BQ9000 panel talked about biodiesel quality and compliance as a cornerstone of market success. We were proud to have our own, Jason Lawrence speak on the panel.

As usual, it was another great BioDiesel Conference and opportunity to talk with and learn from others in the industry. We all have our work cut out for us this year and will have to see where 2012 takes us!

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