Interesting little thing I noticed over the weekend… a BUNCH of articles about a BUNCH of state legislatures taking up biodiesel measures. Last week, we told you about Missouri’s legislature taking up a biodiesel requirement. My news alerts have clued me in to similar measures in California, Arkansas, Washington state, and Wisconsin (just to cite a few). Of course, this follows on the heels of President Bush’s call for more renewable fuels and reduction of foreign oil dependance in his 20 percent reduction of gasoline usage in the next 10 years.
The state lawmakers seem to following suit with goals also to be more environmentally conscience. In Wisconsin, for example, Governor Jim Doyle released a press release (reported on WisPolitics.com) saying “With new technology, and a commitment to renewable fuels, Wisconsin can lead the way – reducing global warming and helping this nation kick its addiction to foreign oil.”
The Fresno (California) Bee reports State Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, introduced seven bills this month in hopes of making (biodiesel) common. His new bills would promote the production, sales and use of biodiesel with tax breaks and mandates. Florez’s Senate Bill 70, which would establish California standards for biodiesel as a fuel, mentions a 20% mix, known as B20. The fuel can be 100% biodiesel, or it can be a mixture of petroleum diesel and biodiesel. Florez’s bills would require school buses and state vehicles powered by diesel engines to use biodiesel fuel.
This AP story in the Seattle Times says that lawmakers in Washington state will consider a bill that would provide incentives to increase the production and use of biofuels in Washington. The incentives would go to farmers to grow crops like canola, and to various government entities to replace or retrofit big polluters like school buses. A key provision calls for spending $5 million to help local governments replace 700 aging diesel school buses with newer models. It also provides money to retrofit other old buses so they run more cleanly.
Of course, they say watching laws being made is like watching sausage being made. We’ll stay on top of it so you can avert your eyes.