January 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Blue Ridge Biofuels,

There are signs of a growing interest in biofuels both locally and nationally. The Land of Sky Regional Council is working on a Clean Cities Designation from the US Department of Energy, and a few of our restaurant clients recently received Green Restaurant Certification from the Green Restaurant Association.

Though Congress failed to pass the $1 per gallon tax credit at the end of December 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency did issue a final rule establishing 2012 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) at 1 billion gallons – an increase of 200 million gallons from last year.

We have had tremendous success through the Cooking Oil Recycling Program, having already collected over 200 gallons of used cooking oil from Buncombe County residents, and this was only with a third of the bins we will have placed by the spring. In all, we collected over 1200 gallons in the last quarter from all our public bins in Western North Carolina. As a result, Blue Ridge Biofuels’ business is growing! We have hired an additional employee this month and plan to contuinue to increase our staff this spring. All of this would have not been possible without your support.

Sincerely,

Melita Kyriakou, Business Administrator

Land of Sky Region Approaching Clean Cities Designation

The Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition, a program of the Land of Sky Regional Council of Governments, hopes to receive “Clean Cities Designation” soon by the US Department of Energy. The Coalition has been working towards this special designation for seven years and has met all the requirements including the establishment of an alternative fuels market in the Asheville metropolitan area. Stakeholders in the Coalition include public agencies, businesses and non-profits all working together to encourage the use of alternative fueled and advanced technology vehicles including those using biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane, or electricity. The Clean Cities Program’s goal it to reduce the nation’s use of petroleum and get us off foreign oil. In 2010, the Coalition’s stakeholders reduced petroleum use in the five county area by over 300,000 gallons. With new alternative vehicle projects in the works, the Coalition will double that amount by 2013.

Blue Ridge Biofuels is a primarily stakeholder in the Coalition and serves on the Coalition’s Steering Committee and Biofuels committee. Coalition staff can assist you in exploring the use of alternative fueled or advanced technology vehicles in your fleet. They may also serve as a resource for grant opportunities. For more information on the Coalition and the US DOE Clean Cities Program, visit the Land of Sky website or call Bill Eaker at the Council at 828-251-6622.

Changes in Environmental Protection Agency 2012 Renewable Fuel Standard

At the end of December, the EPA issued a final rule establishing 2012 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for biomass-based diesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2). Consistent with a draft proposal the EPA issued earlier this year, the rule sets the 2012 requirement at 1 billion gallons – an increase of 200 million gallons over this year’s RVO of 800 million gallons.

Biodiesel is America’s first Advanced Biofuel – a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is creating good-paying jobs, reducing U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum and improving our environment. It is produced in nearly every state in the country and supported more than 39,000 U.S. jobs in 2011 while replacing roughly 1 billion gallons of petroleum diesel.

The 2012 standards increases the amount of biofuel the federal government requires blended with transportation fuel and an increase in demand will lead to increased biodiesel production from both large-scale suppliers and community-based suppliers like Blue Ridge Biofuels. Blue Ridge Biofuels has participated in the EPA RFS Program since 2007. For more information, visit EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard Page.

Testimonial from a Biodiesel Customer

Wingbean is built upon a foundation of environmental awareness and maintains a focus on goods produced within our community. We are proud to fuel our delivery vehicles with a blend of efficient, locally-produced, alternative energy from Blue Ridge Biofuels – a company who seems to share many of our interests. By recycling used cooking oil, Blue Ridge Biofuels is taking advantage of a widely available commodity that might otherwise be disposed of. By turning waste oil into a very real and very attainable source of power for vehicles and homes, Blue Ridge Biofuels is offering another option for people in Western North Carolina who wish to live as self-sufficiently as possible.

~ Scott Myer, Co-owner of Wingbean

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

Cooking Oil Recycling Program Updates

Beginning as a project funded by the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, the Cooking Oil Recycling (COR) Program has expanded to include eleven recycling bins throughout Buncombe County, a staff of six, and a network of organizations linked by a common goal. The COR Program provides residential oil collection services to over 230,000 people and will serve as a model for other recycling services in Buncombe County.

“We hope someday soon the cost of wind, solar, and geothermal energy will fall enough to compete with coal, petroleum, and natural gas,” says Melita Kyriakou, Business Administrator at Blue Ridge Biofuels. “For now, biodiesel is the only advanced biofuel in the US and is a drop-in replacement for petroleum diesel, working seamlessly with our country’s existing fueling infrastructure.”

In the past, MSD of Buncombe County has spent an estimated $200,000 yearly on sanitary sewer overflows from used cooking oil poured down the drain. MSD received funding from the Biofuels Center of NC in 2011 to combat this issue, enlisting Blue Ridge Biofuels to orchestrate an environmentally-friendly method for collecting and processing the used cooking oil into biodiesel. A public education and outreach campaign has been launched in collaboration with GO, and Blue Ridge Biofuels began employing an additional driver in October to collect the extra supply of feedstock.

So far, the program has collected over 230 gallons of used cooking oil and estimates collecting 1,000 monthly gallons once all 35 bins are placed. Questions and requests for where to place a bin can be submitted on www.CookingOilRecycling.org or posted on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/CookingOilRecycling .

Blue Ridge Biofuels on the Radio

Biofuels Center Podcast with Shane Reese, Communications Manager
Interview on Local Edge Radio with Blake and Brett

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