Sustainability Symposium at the 2012 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo

Posted on January 5th, 2012

Sustainability issues have been front and center within the biodiesel industry for the past several years. The 2012 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo will feature the issue prominently during a full-day Sustainability Symposium on Wednesday, February 8.

Biodiesel and other renewable fuels produced from agricultural products are being promoted as excellent alternatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security relative to petroleum and fossil fuels. Questions have been raised about how much biofuels can be produced without causing negative environmental impacts from feedstock production. Symposium speakers will discuss the responsible goal-setting of the National Biodiesel Board and how utilization of existing feedstocks will optimize the economic and environmental benefit of food and fuel production.

Presentations on the impacts of biodiesel will highlight opportunities to diversify energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, invigorate local economies, reduce impacts to the environment, and increase food security. More than a decade of research by the U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE), Agriculture (USDA), and leading academic institutions will summarize the impacts of biodiesel, and point to its role as America’s Advanced Biofuel. Learn about these important issues, and hear how the experts answer the tough questions about biodiesel’s long-term sustainability.

NBB is proud to welcome USDA and DOE as organizing co-sponsors of this symposium.

Experts who will be speaking about the benefits of renewable fuels at the symposium include:

USDA Deputy Under Secretary, Ann Mills (pictured at left) will speak about the Department of Agriculture’s efforts directed at protecting natural resources and the environment.

Author Robert Zubrin and economist John Urbachuk, who will describe the importance of domestic jobs created by the biodiesel industry, and why alternatives to imported oil are a necessity for energy and national security. The economic and social impacts for national security are a natural complement to biodiesel’s numerous environmental benefits.

Virginia Dale (pictured at right), researcher at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and contributor to the National Academies of Science, will present on the scientific measurement of environmental impact from feedstock production.

The session will focus on data and the scientific method as a means of evaluating the impact of biofuels. Secretary Mills will follow up by quantifying the strides that USDA has made through conservation programs toward improving soil and water resources. Because of these programs and adoption of technology by farmers, U.S. agriculture is the most sustainable agriculture in the world. We can rely on agriculture to produce plentiful food and biodiesel feedstocks, and we can do so with confidence that it brings environmental improvements relative to fossil fuels.

The symposium is included with full NBB conference registration. Those interested in attending the Sustainability Symposium without full conference registration, may do so for a small registration fee. Details are available on the conference website.


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