Oregon Biodiesel Standard to Start in September

John Davis

oregondeptofagOregon could become the latest state to mandate that every gallon of diesel sold in the state have a 2 percent biodiesel blend.

As you might remember from my post last August 29, the state has a new five-million-gallon-a-year biodiesel plant run by Sequential Pacific Biodiesel, and five-million gallons is the threshold for Oregon’s mandate to kick in. This article in the Burns (OR) Times Herald says the state Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Energy are letting motorists know they expect the actual production to hit that mark this coming September:

“The most important thing for motorists to know is that they shouldn’t see any change to their fuel economy or their vehicle’s performance when using a 2 percent biodiesel blend,” said Stephanie Page, ODA’s renewable energy specialist.

House Bill 2210, which established Oregon’s renewable fuel standards, passed in the 2007 legislative session and was signed into law. When in-state biodiesel production, using materials from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, reaches five million gallons per year, the renewable fuel standard for biodiesel kicks in.

With the expansion of SeQuential Pacific’s biodiesel manufacturing facility in Salem, that capacity is expected to be reached sometime this summer. Ninety days after the trigger has been reached, the standard requires that only 2 percent biodiesel blends be sold. By fall, it’s likely that every licensed Oregon gas station that carries diesel must sell the 2 percent blended fuel.

The implementation of the biodiesel requirement follows last year’s implementation by ODA of the renewable fuel standard requiring 10 percent ethanol in gasoline sold in Oregon. About 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline are sold in Oregon each year and about a half billion gallons of diesel. Even though the biodiesel requirement will affect far fewer motorists, state officials want to get the word out.

Officials went on to caution retailers and wholesalers that they should clean and prep their storage tanks before receiving the blended diesel.

Biodiesel, Government