The U.S. government has streamlined its procurement process to allow government vehicle fleets to obtain biodiesel as easily as petroleum diesel.WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-11-20 [SolarAccess.com] The Defence Energy Support Centre will make biodiesel available at 17 government sites across the country, for use by the military services in commercial administrative vehicles. The move is expected to increase energy security by using more domestically produced renewable fuel in federal agencies. Users of biodiesel that will participate in the program include several military bases, the National Park Service, the U.S. Postal Service in Manhattan, New York, the Department of Agriculture National Arboretum and NASA. The quantity of fuel procured under the DESC solicitation is 1.5 million gallons of B20 (20% biodiesel/80% diesel). Both military and civilian fleets will obtain B20 at fueling sites throughout the country. Although DESC is a component of the Department of Defence, it is the recognized expert in the procurement of fuels for civilian and military agencies of the federal government. By using DESC to buy the fuel, all federal agencies can streamline their acquisition process by placing orders against the contract entered into by DESC. “This is the largest single procurement of biodiesel to date,” says Joe Jobe, executive director of the National Biodiesel Board. “It is symbolic of the growing interest in using biodiesel in federal and civilian fleets. It also shows that the U.S. government has confidence in this thoroughly tested fuel that has become one of the fastest-growing alternative fuels according to the Department of Energy.” Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine, usually with no modifications. It performs comparably to diesel fuel, with similar cetane and BTU content. It offers excellent lubricity and lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel fuel. More than 100 major fleets currently use biodiesel. Biodiesel can be used to meet Alternative Fuel Vehicle purchase requirements of the Energy Policy Act, as well as the goals of three Federal Executive Orders to make the government more green. Biodiesel is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a fuel and fuel additive, and is the only alternative fuel to have passed the Health Effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act. Results show biodiesel reduces carcinogenic air toxics by 75 to 90 percent compared with diesel. World Energy Alternatives of Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded the contracts for 17 locations within the U.S. under the DESC solicitation. The National Biodiesel Board is funded in part by the United Soybean Board and state soybean board checkoff programs.