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Guest Blog: Setting the Record Straight

    In observance of Women’s History Month, the Diesel Technology Forum is pleased to share this guest blog from our friends at the Clean Fuels Alliance America so you may learn more about our members. Heather Buechter is Clean Fuel's Director of Communications.

    In an industry riddled with misconceptions, two trailblazing women at Clean Fuels Alliance America are setting the record straight while propelling biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel into a future of success. As the association’s environmental expert, Veronica Bradley provides the scientific foundation to promote policies that encourage the use of clean fuels. Kate Shenk, Director of Regulatory Affairs, analyzes that data and educates policymakers. While their job titles don’t appear to be connected, the synergistic relationship between these two is essential to achieving one shared goal – securing equitable treatment of biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel and diverse feedstocks in programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Treasury. As moms of young children, both women are passionate when it comes to the success of the industry because it means a cleaner, brighter future for the next generation and our nation.

    Katie Shenk“When educating legislators, regulators, environmental groups or other stakeholders, I have to be armed with the technical, economic and scientific data on the benefits of adopting clean fuels,” Shenk explained. “Veronica performs the research to provide that information.”

    Shenk explained as they lead members through federal regulatory policy changes, that important data dispels misconceptions around the current and future sustainability of fueling heavy-duty vehicles and equipment, trains, marine vessels, and aircraft. Together, she and Bradley analyze and educate on feedstock markets, oilseed processing capacity, industry investments, climate benefits, public health benefits and other environmental impacts of biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. These efforts help show others how they can attain the industry’s vision of reaching six billion gallons by 2030.

    “It is our job to set the record straight about any preconceived notions on the environmental and economic integrity of our fuels,” she said.

    Veronica BradleyBradley said they know that a sustainable transportation future requires diversely sourced liquid fuels, including from new varieties of winter annual oilseeds, as well as the ever-dependable sources of recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats.

    “It requires maximizing climate-smart agricultural practices and driving the scientific consensus on capturing and properly incentivizing the carbon benefits of those practices,” she said. That means investing in new and innovative ways to decarbonize our supply chains while ensuring fuel end-users can account for these benefits in reaching their own sustainability commitments in an industry creating jobs and improving the quality of life for not only rural communities but larger cities across the country.”

    As the demand for clean fuels continues to grow, consumption of biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel reached 3.1 billion gallons in 2021. It drove $23.2 billion in economic activity, supporting 75,200 jobs. The industry also avoided an additional 27.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere; equivalent to keeping nearly 5.8 million cars off the road. Bradley and Shenk highlighted the billions of dollars that could be saved in avoided healthcare costs from switching to biodiesel in the legacy heavy-duty transportation and residential heating sectors.

    “Kate and I are committed to doing more of this important research and analysis because the data and science reveal a sustainable and prosperous future for clean fuels,” said Bradley.

    Shenk added, “Together, we guide our colleagues and members at Clean Fuels on how to parse the data and tell its stories, because data-driven action is action that will help us fight the climate challenge and sustain our shared successes in decarbonizing the transportation sector.”

    To ensure continued success and growth, the two will continue working diligently to keep agencies including the EPA, DOE, USDA and Treasury aware of what the data show, what the science shows, and how their industry and partners are evolving to meet the ambitious goals for this Administration and the U.S. economy.

    DTF is also a member of the Clean Fuels Alliance America. Please visit to learn more.