United as One: A Year of Thriving for Clean Fuels

Jan 24, 9:00 — 10:30 AM EST

As we transition to a Brave New Low-Carbon World, we remain united in this: positive clean fuels policy is vital. In the last year, Clean Fuels Alliance America and its members fostered a successful policy surge at all levels, from state production incentives, to low carbon fuel standards, to the federal biodiesel tax credit and more. We’ll examine how state and federal policies, including the Renewable Fuel Standard, shape the present and future of clean fuels, against the backdrop of new and old challenges. We’ll also dive into a post-election analysis and its potential impact.   


Donnell Rehagen

Clean Fuels Alliance America

Donnell Rehagen serves as the CEO of Clean Fuels Alliance America, biomass-based diesel’s preeminent trade association. With more than 115 member companies, Clean Fuels Alliance America is the leading U.S. organization representing the biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel industries. Rehagen works closely with the Clean Fuels board of directors to ensure the industry has a clear, sharp vision of the future. He provides leadership to Clean Fuels Alliance America’s highly competent and passionate staff and team of advocacy, technical, environmental science, and communications professionals in a dedicated drive to see the industry reach its vision of six billion gallons of demand by 2030. Formerly a fleet manager for the Missouri Dept. of Transportation, Rehagen joined the organization in 2004 as its Chief Operating Officer and assumed the role of CEO in 2016. He has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University.

Byron Dorgan

Senior Policy Advisor
ArentFox Schiff

Senator Byron Dorgan is a Senior Policy Advisor for ArentFox Schiff. He served in the U.S. Senate leadership for 16 years as Assistant Democratic Floor Leader and Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. He has had a lengthy career in public service at both the state and federal levels, serving as State Tax Commissioner for North Dakota followed by 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 18 years in the U.S. Senate.

Russ Sullivan

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Russ Sullivan is one of the top tax attorneys and advocates in the country. Sullivan translates federal policy and the U.S. tax code for clients’ boards and members and identifies untapped opportunities. Sullivan has developed the leading energy tax policy practice, representing utilities, oil and gas enterprises, renewable energy developers, energy start-ups, public power, building upon the experience he gained firsthand on these issues during his 14 years of service on the Senate Finance Committee. During his time in Congress, Sullivan saw some of the most important issues within the energy sector come before the committee and helped draft landmark legislation, including the 2005 and 2007 Energy Policy Acts and the legislation initiating the “commence construction” within the Internal Revenue Code. Sullivan is passionate about at-risk youth, has served as legal guardian for 22 teenagers, and has continually fought for an increase in the adoption tax credit. He proudly serves on the board of directors for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Kurt Kovarik

Vice President of Federal Affairs
Clean Fuels Alliance America

Kurt Kovarik serves as Vice President, Federal Affairs for Clean Fuels Alliance America, leading members in advocating federal policies that support the industry’s growth. Kovarik has helped the industry secure a long-term extension of the biodiesel tax incentive; preserve important protections against unfair international trade; ensure the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard program; and organize the industry’s advocacy for equitable tax, infrastructure, and environmental policies. Kovarik formerly worked more than 20 years in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), leading efforts on the Renewable Fuel Standard, the biodiesel tax incentive, and increased use of biofuels. An Iowa native, Kovarik graduated from Luther College with a degree in political science.

Floyd Vergara

Director of State Governmental Affairs
Clean Fuels Alliance America

Floyd Vergara serves as the Director of State Governmental Affairs for Clean Fuels Alliance America. He manages the West Coast office in Sacramento, California, and manages a team of professionals responsible for government affairs in all 50 states. Previously, Vergara served as Chief and Assistant Chief in the Industrial Strategies Division and Research Division at the California Air Resources Board. With over three decades of experience at CARB, his expertise includes the Low Carbon Fuels Standard, climate change and air quality programs, renewable and conventional fuels, environmental justice, and other environmental issues. Vergara is a licensed Professional Engineer with a BS in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a licensed attorney with a JD from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Richard Corey


Richard W. Corey served the second-longest Executive Officer tenure in the  history of the California Air Resources Board. While at CARB, he managed a team of more than 1,700 engineers, scientists and other professionals responsible for a broad range of programs, including those concerning clean fuels, ozone and particulate-forming pollutants, climate, incentives and more. His team was responsible for developing and implementing a series of first-in-the-world programs to slash greenhouse gas and ozone-forming emissions and several strategies to reduce toxic air contaminants from various sources that adversely impact communities. In his current role as partner at AJW, Inc., a strategic advisory firm, Corey supports clients with his deep knowledge of decarbonization policy mechanisms, markets, technologies, and stakeholders at the state, federal, and international levels.

Julie Tighe

New York League of Conservation Voters

Julie Tighe has served as President of New York League of Conservation Voters and New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund since 2018. She oversees the organizations’ policy, political, development, programmatic and communications teams. Due in part to the League’s and her advocacy, the State enacted the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act – the nation’s most progressive climate law – as well as several other pieces of legislation to reduce emissions from the transportation and buildings sectors. She was a leading voice in the campaign that led to the overwhelming passage of the $4.2 billion Clean Air, Clean Water, and Green Jobs Bond Act. Previously, Tighe served for more than eleven years at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, having been elevated to Chief of Staff following her role as Assistant Commissioner of Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs.


Doug Whitehead

Clean Fuels Alliance America

Doug Whitehead serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Clean Fuels Alliance America, responsible for ensuring that the association’s strategic plan, fund development, programs, and procedures support the needs of the biodiesel industry. As the association’s COO, he continuously strives to improve operations for the company and works diligently to ensure the team has the resources and tools they need to execute materials for valued members. Whitehead has decades of experience in business development, government relations and consulting, with more than 18 years in the biodiesel space and 15 years in local elected office. He spent time managing Clean Fuels Alliance America’s work in Washington D.C., supporting the reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit, defending the Renewable Fuel Standard program, and fighting against several trade cases on illegally traded biodiesel imports. He is a graduate of Kansas State University.

Room: Conference Central