Biodiesel mandate may be close

    The governor says biodiesel production moves Pennsylvania toward energy independence.

    Governor Ed Rendell says the production of alternative fuels in Pennsylvania has reached a milestone that will eventually change the makeup of diesel sold at Pennsylvania fuel stations.

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    Pennsylvania is on pace to produce 40 million gallons of biodiesel in a year. Biodiesel is made from ingredients like soybean and canola oil, restaurant grease or animal fat.

    Once in-state biodiesel production hits the 40-million gallon mark, a state mandate kicks in. It requires every gallon of on-road diesel to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. The new blend will be required in about a year, after state officials certify that Pennsylvania’s biodiesel infrastructure is ready.

    Ben Wootton is president of Keystone Biofuels in Shiremanstown, Central Pennsylvania.

    Wootton: It’s really a way to force to, for lack of a better phrase, force Big Oil to put our product to the rack. The No. 1 question we get is where can I buy it, where can I buy it, where can I buy it? So unless you are coming to my plant to pick it up, 99 percent of the time, you’re not going to be able to find a station out there that’s actually going to carry it.

    Biodiesel advocates say alternative fuels are easier on the environment and lessen the state’s reliance on foreign oil.

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