Jobe: 2013 marks the beginning of a new era for biodiesel

By Ron Kotrba | February 06, 2013

The 2013 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, held at the Mirage in Las Vegas, kicked off with an energized speech from the National Biodiesel Board’s CEO Joe Jobe who warned Big Oil, Big Food and the livestock industry—the deep-pocketed lobbyists relentlessly pursuing dismantlement of the renewable fuel standard to drive industries such as biodiesel out of business—that in 10 years, it shall be proven biodiesel was on the right side of history.

“The attacks will keep coming, and it’s about to get worse,” Jobe told the general session audience of approximately 1,100 biodiesel stakeholders. He referenced the deliberate, misleading propaganda campaigns by those three bedfellows, and put them on notice, stating every one of them will be held accountable for their deceptions by history itself, and their agendas constituting a “bondage of dependence” on oil will finally, and justly, be exposed.

“Biodiesel is the most sustainable fuel on the planet,” Jobe said. “History will judge the fight by showing who were the champs, and who were the chumps.”

Jobe began his talk by giving a history of the biodiesel industry, partitioning its maturation into three segments: 1992-‘02 were the childhood years; 2003-‘12 was the teen years; and this year forward, biodiesel has reached adulthood.  

“2013 marks a new era for America, the world and biodiesel,” he said, adding that the first decade in the third millennium has been mired in “calamity, violence and tragedy.”

Jobe said those who use newfound domestic oil supplies from the Bakken as reason to hold back development of renewable fuels implement faulty logic when they say increased U.S. oil production will lead to decreased prices at the pump because oil is a globally traded commodity, and multinational political factors and manipulations from oil companies, by far the wealthiest and most influential powerhouses in the world, have much greater control over the price of crude than a regional boom in the states. He evidenced this by stating even though the U.S. is experiencing the highest oil boom in decades, we have not seen lower prices.

“Our goal is to make the transportation fuel supply like the power supply,” he said, meaning diverse, regional and relatively stable—exactly opposite of what it is today.

Several years ago the NBB launched its 5x15 campaign to have biodiesel constitute 5 percent of the total U.S. diesel fuel pool by 2015, and Jobe told the audience it’s possible that goal will be achieved ahead of schedule. He unveiled the NBB’s new 10 year vision: 10x22. “It’s a stretch goal, yet attainable,” he said, adding that feedstock breakthroughs must occur for this to happen.

Jobe then announced a work-in-progress with the Donald Danforth Plant and Science Center in St. Louis to increase oil content in soybeans by 2 percent with no loss of protein yield or quality. He said more information on this will be forthcoming.

Jobe ended his speech with the story of Louis and Clarke, and their adventurous journey mapping the western U.S. “We didn’t have a map of how to develop an advanced biofuel industry from the ground up,” he said. “We’re making the map.”

The biodiesel industry now has on its side the experience, strength and momentum necessary to achieve its most prosperous year in 2013, he concluded.

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