Delaware Governor Blazes Trail for Biodiesel

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) presented Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner with its first Trailblazer Award in recognition of the Governor’s progressive actions to promote biodiesel. With Governor Minner’s support, Delaware has launched broad-reaching initiatives to increase use of biodiesel, a cleaner burning fuel that can be made from any fat or vegetable oil, such as soybean oil. As a result, Delaware has improved its environment while boosting its economy through greater use of this renewable American-made fuel.

Harrington, Delaware – August 6, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) presented Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner with its first Trailblazer Award in recognition of the Governor’s progressive actions to promote biodiesel. With Governor Minner’s support, Delaware has launched broad-reaching initiatives to increase use of biodiesel, a cleaner burning fuel that can be made from any fat or vegetable oil, such as soybean oil. As a result, Delaware has improved its environment while boosting its economy through greater use of this renewable American-made fuel. NBB Chairman Bob Metz presented the award to Governor Minner at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, following the Governor’s announcement of the results of a successful test of soy biodiesel fuel in heating boilers at the Everett Meredith Middle School in Middletown. “Governor Minner has shown true leadership and innovation in seeking numerous and diverse opportunities to increase dependence on biodiesel,” Metz said. “Thanks to her, many of the state’s vehicles are helping Delaware have cleaner air because they are powered by biodiesel, which can be made from the state’s leading agricultural crop, soybeans. Now the Governor has helped show that biodiesel can also provide a cleaner source of heat.” The Delaware heating test in school boilers verified emissions reductions and confirmed the benefits of the fuel, with no differences in fuel use or handling.The Delaware Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Solid Waste Authority, Sussex County Conservation District, Department of Agriculture and Conectiv Power Delivery all use biodiesel. In August and September, the Governor is scheduled to appear in television and radio commercials to promote the fuel. Biodiesel is available to the public in Delaware at fueling stations in Woodside, Bridgeville, Millsboro and Clayton. The state is also using a $60,000 federal grant to study the feasibility of building a biodiesel production plant in Delaware. The Transportation Fuels Working Group of the Delaware Energy Task Force, established by Governor Minner, published a report that called for legislation requiring conventional diesel fuels sold in Delaware contain 2 percent biodiesel, a blend known as B2. The working group also recommended that the Delaware General Assembly recognize biodiesel in the Delaware code for taxation purposes, and for the governor to require the use of B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel, in state-owned fleets. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have completed the rigorous Health Effects testing required by the Clean Air Act. Results show biodiesel poses less of a risk to human health than petroleum diesel. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a comprehensive technical report of biodiesel emissions data that shows the exhaust emissions of particulate matter from pure biodiesel are about 47 percent lower than overall particulate matter emissions from diesel. Breathing particulate has been shown to be a human health hazard. Biodiesel emissions also reduce by 80 to 90 percent potential cancer-causing compounds called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrated PAH. Biodiesel also reduces emissions of total unburned hydrocarbons, a contributing factor to smog and ozone, by about 68 percent. Carbon monoxide is reduced by about 48 percent. Biodiesel has similar horsepower, torque and BTU content compared to petroleum diesel. It offers excellent lubricity and higher cetane than diesel fuel. Biodiesel is registered with the EPA as a fuel and fuel additive. About 300 major fleets currently use biodiesel nationwide. Ruth Ann Minner is Delaware’s first woman governor.

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