CBA's 2014 Conference
CBA's successful third annual California Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Conference was held on January 20th, 2014 at the SanDiego Convention Center and was co-located with the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo.
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Supreme Court Denies Appeal of California's Landmark Low Carbon Fuel Standard
By Environmental Defense Fund | June 30, 2014
Lower Court Decision Upholding Groundbreaking Clean Fuel Protections Will Stand
(Washington, D.C. -- June 30, 2014) The Supreme Court will not review a rigorous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that upheld California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard - common sense standards designed to reduce unhealthy air pollution, protect the environment and strengthen the state's clean energy economy.
The Supreme Court today denied petitions from large oil companies and corn-ethanol producers asking it to review and reverse the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision.
"The Supreme Court's decision today denying requests by big oil companies to review legal appeals challenging California's landmark low carbon fuel standard is welcome news for the millions of Californians at risk from the clear and present danger of climate change," said Tim O'Connor, Director of California Climate for Environmental Defense Fund, which was a party to the case.
"The Low Carbon Fuel Standard will protect the health of Californians while strengthening our clean energy economy," said O'Connor. "It is unfortunate that big oil companies are investing in litigation and obstructionism rather than investing in the innovation in cleaner low carbon fuels that is essential for our health and our prosperity."
The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a policy created under California's groundbreaking climate change laws, known as AB32. It will reduce the amount of carbon pollution released from the fuels sold in California by 10 percent between now and 2020.
The measure will improve California's air quality, reducing serious health impacts like heart and lung diseases caused by air pollution, which in turn will save the state billions of dollars each year in health care costs.
The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is also designed to help the economy by stabilizing fuel prices and protecting Californians against future oil price shocks, and by driving innovations in business and technology that will create jobs. A recent report from EDF and the American Lung Association found that California's clean fuels policies will save over $10 billion by 2020.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Low Carbon Fuel Standard last September, saying:
"California should be encouraged to continue and to expand its efforts to find a workable solution to lower carbon emissions, or to slow their rise. If no such solution is found, California residents and people worldwide will suffer great harm. We will not at the outset block California from developing this innovative, nondiscriminatory regulation to impede global warming."
The LCFS has been in effect for more almost three years, and -- as intended - it is helping to bring innovative, cleaner fuels to California consumers.
Status of CARB's According to CARB's website, California's "diesel fuel regulations are geared toward controlling criteria pollutant emissions from hydrocarbon-based fuels and are not intended to provide a market pathway for alternative diesel fuels (ADF), such as biodiesel. With the advent of the policies that incent or require ADFs, such as the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, there is a clear need to provide a pathway for emerging ADFs to enter the California market." Biodiesel will be the first ADF under the new regulation.
Alternative Diesel Fuel Rulemaking
As part of its ongoing work to establish the ADF regulation, CARB staff presented their most recent biodiesel testing data for NOx emissions on B5 and B10 in a July 1st webinar. Staff presented data they believe demonstrates a 1% NOx increase for B5 biodiesel blends. Calling their own conclusions "preliminary," they called for participants to do their own analysis. Our industry is skeptical about the results presented due to some inconsistencies and anomalies. We are involved in high-level discussions with CARB staff and have requested further details -- including specifications of the fuels used, engine performance to the protocols, and the determination of statistical significance -- as part of an extremely concerted effort to insure a full review and analysis of the data.
Per the NBB's request, the workshop date of July 31st has been delayed to provide more time for expert analysis by statisticians at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Details of the next public meeting on this issue will be posted here: http://arb.ca.gov/fuels/diesel/altdiesel/biodiesel.htm.
CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD: LOW CARBON FUEL STANDARD (LCFS)
With CBA board members, Eric Bowen and Russ Teall, serving on the 2014 LCFS Advisory Panel and NBB staff involved at various levels, our industry continues its active engagement on the range of important issues affecting biodiesel in the LCFS re-adoption process -- primarily pathway analysis, the compliance schedule, enforcement, and indirect land use change (ILUC ) issues. The next and final Advisory Panel meeting is scheduled for August 25th. A list of other meetings with related documents can be found here:: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs_meetings/lcfs_meetings.htm.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION (CEC): AB 118 FUNDING
Crimson Renewable Energy, LP and Community Fuels have been chosen to receive funding from CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program under AB 118. In May, the CEC released a Notice of Proposed Award (NOPA) announcing its Round 1 Award for their Pilot-Scale and Commercial-Scale Advanced Biofuels Production Facilities program (Solicitation PON-13-609). Crimson Renewable was selected to receive $5 million for plant expansion at its Bakersfield biodiesel production facility.
On July 18th, the agency announced its Round 2 Awards. American Biodiesel, Inc. (dba Community Fuels) was chosen to receive $4,183,421 to increase efficiency for processing low carbon intensity biodiesel feedstocks at its biodiesel production facility in Stockton.
For more information on this NOPA
STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD: UST REGULATIONS
The new permanent UST law that took effect in June of 2012 was discussed at CBA's January 20th conference by Laura S. Fisher, Chief, UST Technical Unit, State Water Resources Control Board. She explained that when UL does not include a specific approval for a substance to be stored, the owner or operator may submit an affirmative statement of compatibility from the manufacturer. Detailing that the new regulation applies only to double-walled components with an existing UL listing for petroleum and that statements may only come from the manufacturer of the component (and that If there are later conflicting statements, UL prevails), she clarified that the Water Board gathers these statements, reviews them, then posts them on their website (CBA did this prior to the new law).
The agency also posts Leak Detection Equipment information for diesel, all of which is approved for B6 through B20 meeting ASTMD7467 and biodiesel B100 meeting ASTM D6751 whether or not these alternative fuels are included on individual data sheet (check their site for the few exceptions). She also let the group know that NBB has proposed to work with the National Leak Detection Workgroup on listing or testing equipment with blends B21 - B99 and to work with UL on testing and/or listing of biodiesel blends above B20.
The new Affirmative Statement of Compatibility by Manufacturer forms can be found at the Water Board website: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ust/alt_comp_opt/soc.shtml.
NOTE: The Water Board webpage is constantly being updated as new and revised forms come in, but revised forms are not labeled as such. Also, please be advised that your CUPA may require engineering approvals for non-integral secondary containment (sumps and UDCs).
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
AB 1992, the Low Carbon Fuel Advance Market Commitment, would have authorized the California Air Resources Board to develop a program to bring very low carbon fuels, those that reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by at least half compared to their closest comparable petroleum fuel, into the California fuel market at commercial scale. It passed the assembly but failed to pass in the Senate Committee on Appropriations in late June.
AB 1566, which would strengthen penalties for stealing used cooking oil and add other requirements affecting grease haulers. It passed the Assembly on May 23 and is in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.