NBB Washington meeting targets industry, national policy
The board approved a 10-year strategic plan, which outlined wide-scale low-blend use of biodiesel as the biggest potential market, but recognized that higher blends such as B20 will continue to play a significant and visible role.
embers also heard the latest on developing marketing strategies for the trucking industry. The Regulatory Committee identified as a top priority working with the Internal Revenue Service to quickly publish the regulations on the biodiesel tax incentive for industry clarity.
The National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission (NBAC) recognized developments in the BQ-9000 fuel quality program, such as introducing a Canadian representative to the commission. NBAC also recognized Steve Howell, NBB technical director, with an award for his work on the commission. NBAC announced a promotional period for a discounted rate in becoming an accredited producer or certified marketer.
David Geanocopoulos, director of industry/government relations for Volkswagen, addressed the board about the company's increasing support for biodiesel in the United States. Donald Schregardus, U.S. Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Environment, addressed the board after accepting NBB's National Energy Security Award for Outstanding Energy Leadership through Biodiesel award on behalf of the U.S. Navy.
The board also honored Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., with the Biodiesel Lifetime Achievement Award. "America's interests are on your side," he told the group.
NBB recognized Mark Reisinger, energy staff member to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and thanked him for his valuable work in supporting biodiesel. Reisinger is leaving to become the head of Iowa's Rural Development Initiative. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Charles F. Conner, Dennis Smith of the Department of Energy and Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., also addressed the group. "Of all the alternative energy sources we talk about, this is not the fuel of the future, this is now," said Talent.
"We've all here today talked about how dangerously dependent we are on foreign oil," Smith said. "If there was ever something made-to-order to help solve that problem, it was biodiesel."
NBB members visited with congressional representatives on Capitol Hill before wrapping up the meeting with a Congressional reception.