U.S. biodiesel conference provides momentum for 2016

by World Grain Staff
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TAMPA, FLORIDA, U.S. — The 2016 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo attracted more than 1,000 biodiesel industry leaders and supporters, said the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the conference host. The event came to a close on Jan. 28.

As the biodiesel conference began, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the numbers showing that U.S. consumers used a record of nearly 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2015, NBB said. 

According to Joe Jobe, the NBB chief executive officer (CEO), the numbers “show without question that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is delivering significant volumes of Advanced Biofuel to the American people.” 

In Jobe’s state of the industry address, he compared the biodiesel industry to an underdog in a fight. 

“Last year the biodiesel industry demonstrated more than ever that no matter how beat up we are, no matter how outgunned we are, we don’t back down,” he said. “We came together like never before. We stayed true to our principles in the face of deceitful attacks and we achieved the success necessary to put us back on track.” 

Citing the major accomplishments of 2015 including the renewal and extension of the tax credit, and the RFS increasing volumes through 2017, Jobe said “2016 is going to be our strongest year yet.”

During the vehicle showcase, it was announced that PACCAR Inc., now approves of B20 biodiesel in 100% of its vehicles, old and new. This announcement means that over 100,000 new trucks are joining the biodiesel ranks, traveling over 12 billion miles year round. For their efforts, Jobe presented PACCAR with the Eye on Biodiesel Initiative Award.

In addition to the Initiative Award, there were several other Eye on Biodiesel awards given out during the conference. The Climate Leader Award went to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), and the American Lung Association in California for their environmental leadership in promoting biodiesel and other clean fuels along the West Coast. 

The Impact Award was given to Beth Calabotta for her scientific work in the industry through the National Biodiesel Foundation.  The Pioneer Award was presented to John Maniscalco for his dedication and leadership within the bioheat community, and the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mike Livergood for his help in developing the biodiesel industry in the U.S. and efforts to shape and grow it through his work.

For a full conference recap, to view photos, and to hear interviews and speeches, click here.

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