National Biodiesel to expand Washington office |

National Biodiesel to expand Washington office

Taking the position that the biodiesel industry is still an “underdog” that needs to convince Congress and the Trump administration that it needs help to expand, the National Biodiesel Board said Jan. 18 it will expand its Washington staff.

At both an opening general session and a briefing on the industry Jan. 15, officials at the National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego stressed that biodiesel is an environmentally sustainable fuel that creates jobs and adds to the economy in rural America, but faces many challenges.

NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen said the organization will be “redoubling our efforts” in Washington by adding a director of advocacy who will be in charge of reaching out to elected officials both on trips to Washington and in their home states and districts.

Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel said NBB would be adding a lobbyist, and that NBB will work with every Capitol Hill office to “build our next legislative champions.”

All transitions pose uncertainty, but “This new president comes with what many perceive as greater uncertainty than most,” Steckel said.

At a news conference, Rehagen said NBB is going to “expand our footprint” and carry its message “more consistently” to Capitol Hill.

Rehagen said that if the biodiesel industry is going to keep increasing the volume of biodiesel produced, “that policy support has to be there today.”

He noted that the biodiesel tax credit expired at the end of December, as it has sometimes in the past. Because Congress is talking about tax reform, NBB needs to make sure the tax credit is included, Rehagen said.

Noting that President-elect Donald Trump wants to create jobs, Rehagen concluded, “If we want to see more jobs here in the United States, then we need those gallons to be produced here in the United States.”

— The Hagstrom Report

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