“In the United States, we created the biodiesel industry literally from scratch. And public policies were very important from the beginning to establish the framework for how this industry is being built,” Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), told me at a meeting during the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2022, held in Las Vegas. Vegas (USA). “Here in the United States, we are in demand to produce other fuels, such as renewable diesel (HVO) or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), so we’ve turned our National Biodiesel Board brand into the Clean Fuels Alliance of America.”
Rehagen, who leads the biodiesel sector with a very active agenda with the government, emphasized the importance of policy and regulators for the development of the industry. “We look for those signals from our government that say ‘we want more of your product’ and that’s why we build our industry’s foundation on public policy. Not just at the federal level, but now also at the state level. Many of our states are starting to implement policies and these signals are very important for an industry that is trying to grow,” he analyzed.
I explained to him the situation of the biofuels industry in Brazil, which is dealing with a period of reduction of the mandatory mixture provided by law for B13 last year and for B14 as of March this year. “What I have to say to biodiesel producers in Brazil,” said Rehagen, “is to keep going and not give up… our industry has been doing this for thirty years, so we didn’t start last night, and that’s why we have to a lot of persistence and not giving up. I like to say that we as an industry don’t take no for an answer”.
Rehagen highlighted the urgency of deploying advanced biofuels, especially SAF. “We are ready. We can reduce carbon in any market, in rail, offshore, on the road, in aviation, we can reduce that carbon today. We all know how carbon works. When it hits the atmosphere it doesn’t disappear. The more we can do To reduce carbon today, it will be better for us and for the climate in the long run… so why wait, why wait for something to happen when we have the solution right here and now?”