The San Diego Union-Tribune: Biodiesel Dreams on Hold in California

Posted on June 17th, 2014

From The San Diego Union-Tribune (June 16, 2014):

Just six months ago, the future burned bright for a Barrio Logan refinery that collects used cooking oil from hundreds of San Diego-area restaurants and turns it into motor fuel for standard diesel engines.

New Leaf Biofuel was on pace to produce 5 million gallons a year — the outcome of years of planning, a hiring spree, state grants and more than $1 million in private investment. The company provides fuel to military bases, San Diego city and county governments, and hundreds of school buses at the San Diego Unified School District.

Those vaunted ambitions have been put on hold, however, as the Environmental Protection Agency reconsiders how much renewable fuel can be mixed into the supply chain that ends in gas tanks across the nation.

The agency has proposed keeping last year’s quota for biodiesel — 1.28 billion gallons — through 2015, and sharply reducing additional allowances for biodiesel under “advanced” biofuels that are proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent.

Last year, the biodiesel industry produced nearly 1.8 billion gallons, and had been poised to expand.

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