From Petroleum to Biorefining: Climate Boon or Boondoggle?


April 15, 2021 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Register here for the zoom link.

Are biofuels better or worse for the climate than fossil fuels?

Two Bay Area oil refineries recently announced a pivot from petroleum refining to the production of renewable diesel. And they’re not alone: in the face of current market uncertainties, the oil industry is accelerating its shift toward renewables.  But how “renewable” are their new products?  And what exactly are the local and global consequences of this escalating trend?

At this invaluable webinar, two international experts on biofuels, Drs. Stephanie Searle and Chris Malins, will present the basics of first- and second-generation biofuels and guide us to a greater understanding of what is at stake.  They will address:

• The industry arguments supporting the pivot;
• A brief history of sustainability concerns within the environmental community over the years;
• The climate consequences of refining various feedstocks, and the turn to vegetable oils;
• Air pollution impacts of refining and combusting biodiesel and renewable diesel; and
• The larger policy framework.

This webinar is a special opportunity to hear from two cutting-edge energy policy specialists with a knack for communicating clearly about complex issues.  Come with your questions and leave with a few more!

Please register here.

Dr. Stephanie Searle is the Fuels Program Director at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Her bio can be found at

Dr. Chris Malins is the principal analyst at Cerulogy, a UK-based consultancy on low- carbon fuels, clean fuels, the environmental impacts of bioenergy, carbon intensity of fossil fuel production, and aviation biofuels.  His bio is at .

Sponsored by 350 Bay Area, 350 Contra Costa, Baykeeper, Biofuelwatch, Community Energy reSource, Crockett-Rodeo United Defend the Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rodeo Citizens Association,, and the Sunflower Alliance.



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