February 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Blue Ridge Biofuels,

Despite an increase in the renewable fuel obligations, the EPA delayed its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2013 until later this year. The 2013 RFS would pave the way for additional requirements on a national level, bringing the US one step closed to full energy independence.

Operations Manager Woodrow Eaton, one of our company’s founders, took first place at the BREC Breakthrough Business Challenge for a new fully integrated supply chain business model. It will be unveiled in detail at AdvantageWest’s Carolina Connect event this summer.

The Cooking Oil Recycling Program is also experiencing further growth. Having placed two additional cooking oil recycling bins in Buncombe County, this brings our total recycling locations to 14 throughout Western North Carolina. Thank you to all those who have made this possible.

On a production note, in January we hired a new part-time team member and produced and sold 22,980 gallons of 100% biodiesel.

Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Melita Kyriakou, Business Administrator

EPA 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has delayed its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) 2013 biodiesel volume increase. Although the proposed deadline was set for November 30, 2012, the deadline was extended to an undisclosed time in order to consider the many comments from stakeholders of the proposed 2013 biomass-based diesel volume requirement. The agency’s initial proposal was to raise the requirement from 1 billion gallons in 2012 to 1.28 billion gallons in 2013. The EPA indicated that it intends to make a final decision in the very near future.

In 2011, the biodiesel industry exceeded its RFS standard by more than 200 million gallons. That success – with record production of roughly 1 billion gallons – supported nearly 40,000 jobs across the country while displacing 1 billion gallons of imported diesel with a clean, American-made fuel.

The RFS is a cornerstone of the biodiesel industry. We need you to take action to ensure its continued success. Specifically, our industry must work aggressively to ensure that the Administration and Congress understand the strong economic, environmental and national security benefits of continuing to grow the biodiesel volume requirement in a way that is consistent with raw material and market availability. To help, take the following action:

  1. Send letters to Administration Officials and your Congressional Representatives. Draft letters are available on the National Biodiesel Board website.
  2. Call your Congressional Representatives. Visit the National Biodiesel Board website for contact information and a list of talking points on the 2013 RFS Program.

BREC Challenge Winner is WOODY!

Congratulations to Woody Eaton for placing first at the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council (BREC) Breakthrough Business Challenge for the F3 Business Model.

F3 (Field to Fryer to Fuel Tank) is part of Blue Ridge Biofuels’ effort to bring its supply chain closer to home by working with regional farmers to grow cooking oil crops such as canola. The oil seeds would be processed at a local seed crusher, the oil bottled in Asheville and sold to area restaurants for cooking oil, collected back from restaurants once used, and finally processed into biodiesel and sold as fuel to customers in WNC.

“The BREC Breakthrough Business Challenge is designed to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs with the key decision to get a company started or successfully move it to the next level,” said Matt Raker, vice president of entrepreneurship and the AdvantageGreen program at AdvantageWest. “Keep in mind that the contest was not just about winning some money. It also forced you to think about all aspects of your business model, some of which you may not have considered.”

We would also like to thank Director Todd Fisher of the Center for Entrepreneurial Growth Tech 20/20 for his continued support and guidance as we take this program from planning to execution. As one of the top three winners of the BREC challenge, we will be presenting the F3 program in detail at the AdvantageWest Carolina Connect summer conference.

Testimonial from a Client of Blue Ridge Biofuels Oil Collection Service

Tupelo Honey Cafe was recently awarded certification by the Green Restaurant Association, a designation which we are very proud to receive at both our downtown and south locations. Our partnership with Blue Ridge Biofuels was one of many examples of environmental responsibility and stewardship we cited in gaining GRA certification. We believe Tupelo Honey and Blue Ridge Biofuels’ collaboration is a great example of how determined companies working together can make a difference

~ Elizabeth Sims, Author of Tupelo Honey’s Eclectic Table – Spirited Reciupes from the Heart of Asheville

If you would like to offer a testimonial for services received through Blue Ridge Biofuels, email Thom@BlueRidgeBiofuels.com.

New Cooking Oil Recycling Bins at Self-Help Credit Union and Trout Lily Market

In 2012, we have placed four additional used cooking oil recycling bins: two at Aston Towers and the Garden Apartments in Downtown Asheville, one at Trout Lily Market in Fairview, and one at Self-Help Credit Union in South Asheville. Self-Help was the first commercial lender to take a chance on Blue Ridge Biofuels and we would not be here today without this wonderful institution. Self-Help has deployed more than $64 million in sustainable development financing, including loans to recycling, ecotourism, and sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs, land conservation efforts, renewable energy producers, energy efficient affordable housing communities, and historic renovation projects that meet high green building standards. Visit CookingOilRecycling.org for a map of additional locations and join us at Facebook.com/CookingOilRecycling.

BRB goes to NBB

Woody travelled to Orlando, Florida this month to attend the National Biodiesel Conference! Representatives from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) were impressed by the success of the COR Program and are looking at ways our model can be replicated in other cities across the county.

At the conference, the NBB expressed that small biofuel producers are currently at serious risk due to the most recent Renewable Identification Number (RIN) fraud. Within the past year, the EPA has thrown out approximately 80 million RINs that were found to be fraudulently produced and sold by two US fuel companies: Clean Green Fuels of Maryland and Absolute Fuels of Texas.

Petroleum refiners and importers are required to buy a certain amount of RINs each year according to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Since the most recent RIN fraud, however, obligated parties (petroleum refiners and importers) are now hesitant to buy from small producers. But small producers like Blue Ridge Biofuels benefit tremendously each year from the sale of these RINs.

Despite these concerns for the biofuels industry, Woody was very fortunate to make several connections with obligated parties who are interested in considering Blue Ridge Biofuels for their future RIN purchases. In addition, Woody made several potential sales connections, and helped Piedmont Biofuels table a demonstration of breakthrough discoveries in biofuel enzymatic process! It should also be noted that Atticus (Woody’s son) really really liked the Buzz Lightyear ride at the Magic Kingdom.

Mr. Eaton Goes to Washington

Woody also travelled to DC this month for a National Biodiesel Fly-In, where producers from all over the country joined together to speak to our nation’s leaders. Biofuel producers urged our Congressional representatives to extend the biodiesel tax credit and to expand the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard’s biodiesel volume requirement for 2013. Woody and a number of our friends from other NC biofuel producers met with the offices of Heath Shuler, Kay Hagan, Richard Burr, and Mike MacIntyre to discuss the critical need for their support of the biofuels industry.

Blue Ridge Biofuels in the News

Neal, Dale. “Blue Ridge Biofuels Wins Break-through Business Competition.” Asheville Citizen-Times. Feb. 6, 2012

Ransom, Thomas. “Biodiesel: Pump it Up.” Mountain Xpress. Jan. 31, 2012

Sanford, Jason. “Blue Ridge Biofuels Business on the Uptick; Company Adds One Employee.” Ashvegas. Jan.27, 2012

Thank you for your support! We would not be here without you.

Sincerely, the Team at Blue Ridge Biofuels

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