Refinery Boosts Economy and Environment in Hawaii
July 2, 2012 – Big Island Biodiesel, an advanced biodiesel production facility, was opened this week on the island of Hawaii by SBA business member Pacific Biodiesel Technologies. The third biodiesel refinery to be built in the state, the project was the brainchild of Robert King, President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies and was 100% funded by individuals and businesses based in Hawaii.
At a reception held on the Keaau site of the new plant, Hawaii State Governor Neil Abercrombie praised the investment by Pacific Biodiesel, saying, “This is a commitment to renewable, alternative energy and its role as a central feature of whether we can survive as a democracy in these Hawaiian Islands.” Other speakers included U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye and officials from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. State Representative Denny Coffman, and State Senators Mike Gabbard and Gilbert Kahele, presented Pacific Biodiesel founders Bob and Kelly King with a proclamation from the State Legislature honoring Big Island Biodiesel for its mission and green jobs creation. Kahu Kimo Pihana led a traditional Hawaiian blessing for the new facility.
Locally owned and operated, Big Island Biodiesel is another great example of community-based biodiesel production supporting energy security, a cleaner environment and local economic development! Congratulations Pacific Biodiesel!
Biodiesel Takes Two Big Steps Forward in Texas
May 13th, 2012 – Changes in regulations that will speed the growth of biodiesel blending have been announced by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and a TCEQ grant program will encourage the development of new biodiesel fueling stations in Texas. These positive developments are the fruits of years of effort by the Biodiesel Coalition of Texas (BCOT) which was founded in 2005 by many of the current Board Members of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, including Kelly and Bob King, Annie and Willie Nelson, and Jeff Plowman.
On March 7, TCEQ proposed revisions to the Texas Low Emission Diesel (TxLED) Program rules. During the subsequent public comment period every comment letter received by TCEQ supported the proposed changes, and final approval is expected this summer.
Three significant changes will result from the TCEQ action:
1) The definition of "additive" is changed to conform the TxLED rules with federal law.
2) Performance testing requirements will avoid unintended barriers to biodiesel blending.
3) Biodiesel blends are deemed compliant with Texas standards if the diesel fuel used meets TxLED requirements, the biodiesel used complies with ASTM D6751, and the biodiesel contains no more than 15 ppm sulfur (a requirement that biodiesel easily meets).
On May 2, TCEQ issued a Request for Grant Applications under its Alternative Fueling Facilities Program, which specifically includes biodiesel fueling stations as one of the types of facilities eligible for funding under this Texas Emission Reduction Program (TERP) initiative. Under this program, TCEQ expects to award roughly $2.4 million dollars in grants to increase the availability of alternative fuels like biodiesel, in order to reduce air pollution. As the Texas Legislature continues to expand opportunities for alternative fuel infrastructure, biodiesel is now well-positioned to help Texans reduce vehicle emissions and our dependence on foreign oil.
With these two breakthroughs, TCEQ and the Texas biodiesel industry have made great strides, eliminating barriers and providing a program to incentivize alternative fuels infrastructure. SBA applauds these efforts to reinvigorate a promising biodiesel fuel market in Texas, and we will continue to inform public officials about the significant operational and environmental benefits of biodiesel use.
Fill'er Up...With Hemp Biodiesel
October 8th, 2010 –Hemp could be on the verge of joining the growing number of weeds that could power your car. Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found that industrial hemp seeds could make an ideal feedstock for biofuel production. Slight hitch: growing hemp, industrial or otherwise, is still illegal in the U.S. However, given that medical marijuana is rapidly approaching mainstream status and some states are relaxing marijuana-related laws, the chances for an industrial hemp comeback look a little brighter.
To read the complete article from CleanTechnica click HERE
On job creation—local fruits and vegetables vs. corn and soybeans
April 2nd, 2010 – It turns out that foods that are better for you may also be better for farmers and local job creation. A new study by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University found that expanding fruit and vegetable production in the upper Midwest could bring significantly more economic benefits than conventional corn and soybean production on the same acreage.
The study, by Iowa State Research Scientist Dave Swenson, looked at the potential for fruit and vegetable production in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. It identified 28 kinds of fruits and vegetables that farmers are able to grow in the region. Currently, much of the fruits and vegetables in the region come from other parts of the country or even outside the country. Read the rest of this exciting article click HERE.
Alanis Morissette Performs to Benefit the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance
Los Angeles, California – The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance hosted a fundraising concert and dinner on October 24th, to gather support for the cause of community-based, sustainable biodiesel. The evening’s festivities were held at the Elevate Films rooftop loft and included a breathtaking performance by seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette.
“It is critical that we protect community-based biodiesel as a renewable energy alternative. Fundraisers like this allow us to do just that.” Said SBA Executive Director Jeff Plowman “We are very thankful to have the support of artists like Alanis to help us accomplish this important goal.” The fundraiser did just that through ticket sales and a silent auction of donated memorabilia and products from supporting artists and companies. To read the full article click HERE.
Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance Launches Web Tools for a Sustainable Biodiesel Industry
Austin, Texas 12/18/09 -- Today the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance announced the launch of their new web based sustainability tools for the biodiesel industry. These tools include a sustainability survey and carbon calculators for the entire biodiesel value chain. This survey is the first of its kind to score sustainability metrics and quantify biodiesel’s environmental, social and economic benefit. These tools are the direct result of the Baseline Practices for Sustainability (BPS) document that was published last year and are the foundation of what is to become an independent sustainability certification.
“These tools are designed to help stakeholders evaluate their environmental impact while providing guidance for continued improvement,” said Jeff Plowman Executive Director of the SBA, “ultimately we hope that these tools will help create a value add for farmers and feedstock producers; create a better marketing position for biodiesel refiners and distributors, while reducing emissions and providing real energy security.”
The entire biodiesel industry is at risk today due to the potential impact of unsustainable production practices and is under increased pressure to prove the benefits of biodiesel over petroleum diesel. These tools are designed to help all those involved in the biodiesel value chain to evaluate their overall impact and establish goals for improvement to create a more sustainable biodiesel industry. Business members of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance will have full access the entire suite of tools to evaluate their biodiesel enterprise.
“Our customers are asking for information regarding our products positive and negative impacts. The support and credibility that we get by being a member of the SBA provides confidence to our customers to continue choosing our products.” said Ian Hill CEO of SeQuential Biofuels.
The SBA is working to create an inclusive framework to showcase the positive benefits of sustainable, community-based biodiesel. By participation in the program, member companies receive feedback and support for their enterprise model.
“Transparency is extremely important to Organic Valley. We want our commitment to producing and utilizing biodiesel to result in a positive impact on the environment and our bottom line” said Jennifer Harrison, Organic Valley’s Sustainability Program Manager and SBA business member. “The challenge we and many who have made a commitment to burning biodiesel have is the evaluation of the feedstock. It can be difficult to decipher the sustainability tradeoffs. This tool has helped us to look at the entire chain from cultivation to our tanks. We are not shying away from biodiesel, in fact we are looking to transition further into renewable fuels.”
The SBA will host a webinar to preview the tools to stakeholders and is seeking input from industry during this initial phase. For information regarding the webinar or to learn more about how to join the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance log on to www.fuelresponsibly.org. .
SBA Presents 2009 Visionary Awards
Rothbury, Michigan 07/05/2009 --- The SBA was on hand for the 2nd annual Rothbury Music Festival July 2nd-5th. Executive Director, Jeff Plowman and Associate Director Tanner Watt were guest speakers as part of the Environmental "Think Tank". Jeff was a panelist for the Sustainable Cities panel and Tanner was a part of the Clean Vehicles Town Hall Forum. During the weekend's festivities the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance took the opportunity to present the 2009 Visionary Awards to Lauren Sullivan and Adam Gardner, Founders of Reverb, and to www.nearbio.com for excellence and advancement in the field of sustainability. SBA Honorary Board of Directors Chariman, Willie Nelson presented the awards to the honorees with members of the SBA team and Board of Directors. Every year the Sustainable biodiesel Alliances honors at least one individual and one organization for advancements in the field of sustainabile biodiesel. This year the SBA honors the founders of Reverb, a non-profit greening organization that helps minimize the negative environmentl impact of music tours, concerts and events. The SBA also recognized www.nearbio.com this year, NearBio continues to develop the most in depth and accurate biodiesel locator engine available online today. For more information on the 2009 SBA Visionairesplease use the following links: For more information on Reverb click HERE. For more information on NearBio Click HERE.