For the first time in North Carolina, diesel vehicle drivers can fill up with B20 at a retail service station in Garner. B20 is a cleaner burning, agriculturally derived blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.Research Triangle Park, North Carolina – July 2, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] This opportunity has been made possible through a federal grant provided to the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) from the NC Department of Transportation with additional assistance from the NC Department of Administration State Energy Office. TJCOG has established a Biofuels Program to rebate the incremental costs of biodiesel and ethanol. Both of these transportation fuel alternatives reduce harmful emissions and can be grown and produced in North Carolina. Through the Biofuels Program, TJCOG has contracted with United Energy, the operator of the BP/Han-Dee Hugo service station that is now providing B20 to the motoring public. In addition to the established customers of the station, line and service trucks from Progress Energy will serve as an “anchor fleet” for the new fuel at the 401 Benson Rd location in Garner. Because of the grant, B20 is being sold for the same price as conventional diesel in the area, increasing sales opportunities and the potential to educate the broader public about fueling alternatives. Biodiesel (B100) is a renewable fuel that can be used in any diesel vehicle with no modifications. It can be blended with diesel fuel in any proportion although it’s commonly used as B20 — a 20 percent blend. Biodiesel is a naturally oxygenated fuel produced from organic feed stocks such as soybeans, cooking oil and animal fats. Biodiesel use results in lower emissions of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, toxic contaminants, sulphur dioxide, hydrocarbons, visible smoke and noxious odors. B100 is also non-toxic and biodegradable and therefore does not pose a threat to water and soil resources if spilled. The biodiesel at the Garner station is being provided through the Grain Growers Cooperative, a farmer’s group working to build a soy biodiesel plant in North Carolina. They have a marketing agreement with West Central Soy, a farmers’ cooperative in Iowa, to supply soy biodiesel until the North Carolina plant is built. Biodiesel is referred to as ‘pour and go’ technology because it relies on readily available vehicles and uses the same refueling infrastructure as conventional vehicles. This provides vehicle operators an easy, familiar way to support initiatives aimed at reducing dependence on imported petroleum and improving emissions. The transportation sector of the U.S. economy is 97 percent dependant on petroleum and over 50 percent of the oil used is imported. Stimulating the use of American fuels such as biodiesel can enhance domestic security, reduce harmful emissions and support agricultural interests in North Carolina, said program organizers at TJCOG and the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition.