California Bill Could be a Boon for Biofuels

Green Star Products, announced that American Biofuels (which is 35% owned by GSPI), has been successful in helping to get a biodiesel industry bill (AB 2899, Assembly Member Shirley Horton) passed through its main policy Committee in the California Assembly. The bill is important to the biodiesel industry because it creates a labeling program for biodiesel that includes a voluntary program to set up labels at the fuel pump that identify fuel efficiency and CO2 benefits of a particular fuel blend.

Bakersfield, California – April 30, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] According to studies done by the US Dept. of Energy, biodiesel leads to a 78% life-cycle reduction in CO2 emissions. Its use by vehicles and industry can greatly diminish the amount of greenhouse gases emitted while also reducing air pollution. AB 2899 is the first bill in the world that establishes a government approved labeling program for identifying “lower CO2” fuels at the fuel pump. This is very important in the USA, which has very limited efforts to reduce CO2 compared to the amount it is emitting (25% of global emissions). The use of market-based incentive mechanisms like a consumer label at the pump can help in having the USA start to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases, said GSP. These gases are responsible for “global climate change” which is predicted to have devastating impacts on agriculture, forests, species diversity and ocean levels if the worse case predictions come true. Other countries around the world (particularly in Europe and Japan) are implementing measures agreed to in the Kyoto Protocol that the USA was unwilling to sign because they are so concerned about the impacts climate change is likely to have on local and global environments and sustainability of our global economy. In fact, the EU has passed a Directive that will insure that an even greater percentage of their liquid fuels come from biofuels (ethanol or biodiesel) which will require that 2% of petroleum contain biofuels in 2005, rising by 3/4% per year to 20% by 2020. This is projected to increase demand to 5 million metric tons by 2006 and 15 million metric tons by 2010 (about 4 billion gallons). American Biofuels said they’re particularly excited about this bill moving forward because it can play an important role in accelerated distribution of biodiesel in California and other states. ABF has built a 5 million gallon plant (with infrastructure in place to quickly move to 35 million gallons capacity) in Bakersfield, California. If AB 2899 is passed into law, the voluntary CO2 labeling program will be very helpful in establishing a mechanism to translate consumer and fleet industry interest in biodiesel into decisions by retailers to both carry the fuel and promote the benefits of using it through the labeling program. The passage of this important bill will lead to greater job impacts from oil seed production, biodiesel production and other activities. Economic development is one important reason the biodiesel bill has received such broad support in California, where jobs and economic growth are a top priority.
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