Adam Kreek Writes About The State Of British Columbia’s Biodiesel Sector

British Columbia’s Biodiesel production and local distribution is hindered by legislation originally intended to support the adoption of sustainable fuel use in British Columbia and beyond.  BC’s commitment to reduce its carbon consumption drastically by 2020 relies on a transition to sustainable fuels like B100 (100 per cent Biodiesel).

“In B.C., drivers going out of their way to purchase carbon-neutral biodiesel made from recycled waste cooking oils are charged the same carbon tax rate (6.39 cents per litre) at the pump as those tanking up with regular diesel. The carbon tax — an otherwise sound policy that the Economist magazine recently declared “a winner” — has a slight glitch.

There’s more. In early 2010, the provincial government removed a long-standing exemption for biofuels from the Motor Fuels Tax. As a result, anyone purchasing 100-per-cent renewable vehicle fuel from the Vancouver Biodiesel Co-op now coughs up an additional 24 cents per litre. Taken together, Victoria is now taxing these dedicated biodiesel buyers 30 cents per litre — for doing the right thing.

In fact, while petroleum companies benefit from a five-per-cent tax reduction on regular fuel sales — to account for recent standards that mandate renewable-fuel content in motor fuels — small but dedicated B.C. producers of pure renewable biofuels now find their products taxed the same as if they were almost entirely derived from the polluting fossil fuels they aim to replace.

Surprised? So is the biofuel sector. These flaws — in what would otherwise be supportive legislation — are inadvertently undercutting B.C.’s biofuels industry. It is pricing domestic producers out of their own market and driving B.C.-made renewable fuels south of the border. There, the industry is supported with significant incentives, including a federal government blending credit equal to about 26 cents per litre and a renewable fuel credit of 66 cents per litre paid for by the petroleum industry.”