XBX is Back, Baby!

Written on: September 22, 2021 by Paul J. Nazzaro

After a long pandemic-induced hiatus, the National Biodiesel Board’s popular Exploring Biodiesel Regional Seminars (XBX) are back and better than ever. We will be holding these highly informative one-day training seminars in Boston, MA, at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf on Sept. 23 and in Madison, WI, at the Madison Concourse Hotel Sept. 30.
These courses are designed to educate fuel wholesalers, distributors, retailers, marketers, fleets, municipalities and other end-users on the benefits and opportunities surrounding the integration of low-carbon liquid fuels—including biodiesel and renewable diesel— throughout the national supply chain.
Much has changed in the political, regulatory, petroleum and biofuel landscapes since we first started holding these events, but one thing has not: our commitment to bring the audience the very best, most up-to-date information and valuable perspective from a lineup of the field’s leading experts. Since we began offering these courses, carbon policies have swept through North America like the powerful weather events experts say are caused by climate change. Virtually all levels of government are considering or enacting legislation to cut carbon on a path toward net zero in the coming decades. Thankfully, low- carbon, renewable, liquid heating fuels such as biodiesel-blended heating oil, also known as Bioheat® fuel, can get us much of the way there on the heating side of the equation.
Bioheat® fuel not only accomplishes significant carbon reductions, but it does so while providing environmental stewardship, energy security, rural and urban economic development, health benefits, and a much greater degree of environmental justice for communities of color and lower-income populations than electricity-powered airsource heat pumps.
I am a supply-chain specialist at my core. Although the backdrop and drivers of renewable transportation and home-heating fuels are shifting, the fundamentals of sound supply- chain economics for on- and off-road fuels—whether distillates gasoline, compressed natural gas, propane, Bioheat® fuel or electricity—will still permeate the XBX discussion and be featured center-stage.
XBX Boston, Sept. 23
Consider XBX Boston the industry’s gateway to a successful 2021-2022 heating season and a portal to the future, giving those in attendance a glimpse of what to expect years from now and not how to simply catch the train there, but how to drive it.
The roster of speakers for the Boston event is truly a star-studded lineup—okay, as star- studded as fuel industry professionals can be, anyway. They are well known and highly respected individuals from solid organizations. The National Biodiesel Board, Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association, National Oilheat Research Alliance, Project Carbon Freedom, Global Companies, Sprague Energy and Gulf Oil will present a comprehensive program that will reveal the next steps of this incredible journey toward a lower-carbon future.
In addition, XBX Boston will feature Jennifer Weaver, NBB’s OEM market development manager; Michael Ferrante, president of the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association; Joseph Uglietto, president of Diversified Energy Specialists; Michael Trunzo, director of government affairs for Shenker, Russo & Clark; Stephen Dodge, NBB’s director of state regulatory affairs; and Matt Herman, NBB’s director of environmental science. Together they will celebrate the industry’s progress in transitioning the heating sector to a sustainable future while laying out the challenges ahead.
From production through consumption, dealers will learn how strategic thinking and execution will ensure a sustainable future for low-carbon liquid home heat—and their respective businesses. Some of the topics to be covered in Boston include:
• Evolving supply-chain dynamics
• Low-carbon liquid fuels update
• OEM positioning on low-carbon liquid fuels
• End-use applications and operability information
• National policy initiatives
After the event, which runs from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm, an optional Boston Harbor cruise will take place afterwards from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Registration for XBX Boston is free for fuel dealers. Outside vendors who wish to attend will be placed on a waiting list and, if room allows, will be offered admission for $225. Proceeds from any vendor-registration fees will be donated to an education fund in memory of Matt Allen from W.H. Riley & Son. The optional harbor cruise is free for all registered XBX Boston attendees.
XBX Madison, Sept. 30
Through the generosity of the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, Nebraska Soybean Checkoff and United Soybean Board, registration for XBX Madison is free and attendees are guaranteed a day of information that will reset expectations for growth.
The depth of coverage in Madison will be similar to Boston, noted in detail above, but tailored for the Badger State and surrounding region. Much more heating oil is consumed in Boston than in Wisconsin, however, so expect much of XBX Madison to focus on the transportation-fuels landscape, including:
• Evolving supply-chain dynamics
• Low-carbon liquid fuels update
• OEM positioning on low-carbon liquid fuels
• End-use applications and operability information
• National policy initiatives
• The clean-gasoline blueprint
“If fuel marketers in our region are looking for a report from the front lines of our industry’s battle for survival, this is it,” said Matthew Hauser, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. “Anti-carbon regulation is closing in on us from both coasts. Learn how to better position your business from industry experts who have a pulse on what’s working and what’s not.”
Bob Kenyon, vice president of sales and marketing for Renewable Energy Group—North America’s largest biodiesel producer and co-host of XBX Madison—called the event “the most comprehensive low-carbon liquid fuels educational seminar available anywhere in the nation. If you consume, market, trade or distribute liquid fuels, this is a can’t-miss event.”
Attendees can expect to gain valuable insight on how low-carbon liquid fuels can be leveraged not only as a cleaner burning, renewable alternative to diesel fuel, but as a means to increase market share and enhance the liquid fuels supply chain while providing end users with exceptional performance, efficiency, and cost benefits.
Joining us on stage in Madison will be NBB’s technical director Scott Fenwick and, once again, Jennifer Weaver, OEM market development manager for NBB. Together we will cover new and emerging policy initiatives, consumer trends, and potential pathways for organizations to move towards carbon neutrality while navigating the notable fuel challenges currently impacting diesel, gasoline, and heating-oil performance.
After the course, a tour of REG’s biodiesel production facility in nearby DeForest, Wisconsin, about 15 miles from Madison, is optional. The plant produces 20 million gallons of biodiesel a year. The event is free to attendees and a catered lunch will be provided.
Suppliers of diesel fuel and end-users alike—including fleets, universities, hospitals, corporate sustainability leaders, municipalities and others—interested in the operational, environmental, and cost benefits of low-carbon liquid fuels, will not want to miss this exciting event. We are prepared to present valuable information on how to effectively build  a low-to zero-carbon liquid-fuels supply chain. I encourage anyone interested in learning how these existing and emerging technologies can empower their organizations as state and federal carbon reduction policies take effect to join us.
For registration and details on both events, visit exploringbiodiesel.com. ICM