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More biodiesel for Portlanders!

June 27, 2006

It’s looking as though Portland may have a hand in bringing biodiesel to the pumps sooner than one would have thought, thanks in part to the work of Randy Leonard.  The Portland Tribune has an article out today reporting on his initiative through the Office of Sustainable Development with the city:

[Leonard] has set aside one-time funds of $735,000 in the city’s budget for the Office of Sustainable Development to create an economic development strategy for the biodiesel industry in Oregon.
      The council is set to discuss Leonard’s proposal at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and vote on it July 5. As currently written it would:
   • Require that all diesel fuel sold in the city of Portland contain at least 5 percent biodiesel by next summer and 10 percent biodiesel three years from now. Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly fuel that has been cut with vegetable oils or animal fats and chemically treated with alcohol. Leonard wants to utilize the farmers in Eastern Oregon to produce it first.
   • Require that gasoline be blended with a minimum of 10 percent ethanol year-round in the city, rather than just in the winter months. Ethanol, largely made from corn grown in the Midwest, is another way to produce cleaner combustions and can be used in any vehicle.
   • Require that all city vehicles operate on either a 20 percent blend of biodiesel or 10 percent ethanol. Leonard already has directed the bureaus under his supervision — including the water bureau and Bureau of Development Services — to convert to biodiesel.

It also looks like Portland is going to support a bigger biodiesel industry with the potential arrival of a new biodiesel processing plant in NW Portland. 

I’m definitely excited about these developments.  Even if biodiesel isn’t the long-term solution, it’s the best thing we can do with the situation at hand.  I’d love to see Portland set the precedent for great alternative fuel standards. 

Says Leonard: “It just seems to me we have to have a political will. I’m just completely fed up with the inability of elected officials to rise above the influence of the petroleum industry when we know that there are alternatives that make sense.”  Right on.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2006 1:46 pm

    I love the smell of bio diesel. A lot of people here in Corvallis use it.

    I’d suggest they require more ethanol or Bio D than 10% or 20%.

    For me, bicycling is a great alternative and supports no oil companies! That’s what I like.

  2. June 28, 2006 2:42 pm

    That talk of one or more massive installations to produce biodiesel is exciting, too. Portland should become the Houston of biodiesel!

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