Review: The 2016 California Biodiesel Conference in Sacramento

By The California Biodiesel Alliance.

The 2016 California Biodiesel Conference, held Feb. 24 in Sacramento, presented a range of detailed policy and technical information that was first put into context in a powerful opening address by Jennifer Case, chair of the California Biodiesel Alliance. Case, who is also president of New Leaf Biofuel, a small biodiesel producer in San Diego that has survived tough times in the California market, ended her talk with a David vs. Goliath analogy, predicting that renewable energy will prevail against opposition from the industry with the fuel so old it’s called “fossil,” because renewable is where the innovation, jobs, opportunity and passion are.

Case discussed biodiesel’s policy successes leading toward regulatory stability—including the two-year renewal of the federal tax incentive and healthy renewable fuel standard (RFS) volumes and CBA’s legislative successes, especially solving a long-standing biodiesel tax problem in the state. She then set the stage in a strong way for the first panel, the keynote presentation, and discussions throughout the day when she expressed the concern that of the approximately 275 million gallons of diesel alternatives consumed in California in 2015, only 12 percent came from in-state producers. “We are enjoying the environmental benefits of the low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), but the vast majority of the economic benefit is being enjoyed by South America, Asia, and other parts of the United States,” she said.