In Wake of Oil Spill, Biodiesel Tax Credit More Important Than Ever

BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has been spewing nearly 210,000 gallons of oil into the ocean each day has already had a significant impact on the environment, and on the attitudes of many when considering fossil fuel alternatives such as biofuel. Eleven men were killed in the explosion that caused the spill, and hundreds of miles of coastline have been damaged.  Even the chemical dispersants being used to mitigate the effects of the disaster can have harmful effect, but are being used as a lesser of two evils.  The question in the minds of many is why continue this dangerous practice, after seeing these horrible effects and we have safe alternatives?  How far will we go for oil supplies?

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California and a high-profile Republican, has come out against off-shore drilling after the disaster, saying that the environmental impacts are not worth the potential economic gain. “You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster, you say to yourself, ‘Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?”‘ he said.

According to the EPA, biodiesel fuels are biodegradable.  This means that if a spill occurs, biodiesel breaks down into sugars and starches, rather than harsh chemicals, and is non-toxic to animal and marine life.

The US has the means to produce this safe fuel alternative, but has let tax credits expire that are essential to keeping this industry working.  In light of this disaster, it is more important than ever to renew these tax credits and help those who are providing safe, clean and affordable fuel for Americans.

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Bio Industry Basics #8: Midwest States Support Ethanol and Biodiesel

The Midwest Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments, a bipartisan association of state legislators from 11 Midwest states including Wisconsin, recently released a series of policy resolutions supporting ethanol and biodiesel. The resolutions called for:

  • Increased use of ethanol and biodiesel
  • Increased use of ethanol blender pumps
  • Sound scientific methods for calculating carbon emissions
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Bio Industry Basics #7: Honeywell to Help Design New Biodiesel Plant in WI

Flambeau River Biofuels has chosen Honeywell International Inc. to help design their proposed plant in River Falls, WI. Here are a few facts about the project:

  • Expected to be operational in 2012, the plant will use wood waste and forest residue to produce biodiesel.
  • Once completed, the plant is expected to produce 18 million gallons of biodiesel per year.
  • The plant will be the largest second-generation biodiesel plant in the U.S.
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Bio Industry Basics #6: Biodiesel Has Positive Energy Balance

A new study from the University of Idaho and the US Department of Agriculture has found that biodiesel produces 4.5 units of energy for every one unit needed to create the fuel. Here are a few key facts:

  • Farmers are using less fuel to grow soybeans because of technology advances that allow them to minimize cultivation of the soil.
  • Biodiesel plants production technology is more energy-efficient than ever before.
  • At 4.5 to 1, the energy balance of biodiesel is more than five times better than the energy balance of traditional diesel.
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Bio Industry Basics #3: Ford Unveils New Biofuel Compatible Trucks

Ford recently unveiled its new line of F-Series “Super Duty” trucks with engines compatible with biodiesel blends and E85. Here are a few facts:

  • The new 6.7L V8 diesel engine will be able to use biodiesel blends up to B20, a mix of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent regular diesel.
  • The new 6.2L V8 gasoline engine can run on ethanol blends up to E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
  • Both engines offer significantly improved torque, horsepower and fuel economy.

Bio Industry Basics 3 Radio Actuality

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