Biodiesel in California: Companies Fueling Positive Change

BiodieselReptA new case study from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and E2 examines the benefits of biodiesel, profiling six companies in California helping to revolutionize the industry. A growing production in the state shows California companies have started capitalizing on this diverse, low-carbon fuel.

As the world’s first advanced biofuel to be commercially produced, biodiesel has the capacity to create a triple-win for the state.  It not only reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality; it is providing consumers with additional fuel choices at the pump and spurs green job growth.

“Once again, California is ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering on fuels that not only protect the environment but also make good business sense to produce,” said Emily Reyna, Senior Manager of Partnerships and Alliances for EDF. “Because of the state’s commitment to biodiesel, we’ll continue to see biodiesel opportunities grow, an industry that is prime to be a leader in alternative fuels for California.”

The companies profiled in this case study- Biodico, North Star Biofuels, LC, Yokayo Biofuels, Crimson Renewable Energy, LP, Imperial Western Products, and Propel Fuels, each demonstrate one of the six steps of the biodiesel value chain. These companies are integrating innovative practices and expanding the commercialization of low-carbon fuels with production capacities up to 20 million gallons a year. Some of these companies recycle used cooking oil as a feedstock, some are working to supply the Navy and oil refineries with lower carbon fuels, while others are working to assure choosing a biodiesel blend is as easy as picking up a different gas pump.

“The case study serves as a great reminder that California is successfully producing biodiesels that are cost-effective, will reduce emissions, and provide quality jobs in the state. To stay competitive and grow California’s economy, it’s imperative we continue to support the policies and businesses that are working hard every day to strengthen our biodiesel industry,” said Russ Teall, President, Biodico.

Smart California policies like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which calls for lower emissions from transportation fuels, are driving demand for and growth of biodiesel in the state. The LCFS further encourages production from waste oils, and biodiesel manufacturers, especially in California, are rewarded by continually reducing their emissions.

In fact, if fuel standards like the federal Renewable Fuels Standard and the LCFS continue as planned, the advanced biofuels industry will have the ability to produce up to nearly 3 billion gallons of low-carbon fuel by 2015.

As a result of the LCFS, California companies continue to expand, helping the state’s economy by providing jobs while helping reach the state’s pollution goals. According to E2 analysis, the biofuels market has the potential to be worth more than $60 billion within the next decade, creating over 18,000 jobs from the nearly 30 biorefineries expected to open by 2015 in the US.

Many of the biodiesel companies profiled also prioritize local production to increase the sustainability of their practices, and all of the companies use domestic feedstock sources, therefore reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @EDF_CA and read our blog at

Environmental Entrepreneurs ( is a national community of business leaders who promote sound environmental policy that builds economic prosperity. We provide an independent, nonpartisan resource for understanding the business perspective on environmental issues. Working with business, environmental and non-traditional allies, E2 helps shape state and national policy that’s good for the economy and the environment. 

Filed in: Reports & Studies