San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on May 18 mandating that all city-owned vehicles currently operating on diesel fuel switch to biodiesel by the end of 2007. It is estimated that San Francisco uses approximately 8 million gallons of diesel a year. City vehicles such as fire engines, buses, and even a mobile zoo van will be affected.
“This makes San Francisco the largest U.S. city ever to institute such broad biodiesel use,” said CEO of the National Biodiesel Board Joe Jobe. “The mayor’s leadership in taking his city diesel fleet to B20 is a demonstration of true commitment to the environment and to weaning ourselves from foreign oil.”
Another West Coast biodiesel project involves Imperium Renewables, a biodiesel production company located in the State of Washington. The company has plans to build a 100-million gallon biodiesel manufacturing facility on land between Aberdeen and Hoquiam, Washington. Construction on the $40-million plant will commence in July 2006 and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2007. The biodiesel produced there will be made from soybeans, canola oil, and other extracts.
“Imperium Renewables is focused on continuing to develop our refining processes to provide a cleaner-burning fuel, to bring the cost of our products lower, and to make it more readily available to fleet managers as well as, eventually, to the consumer,” said John Plaza, founder and president of Imperium Renewables.
The company plans to further expand in both domestic and international markets. According to Imperium Renewable’s Web site, it will open two additional refineries in 2008.
“As a company, we feel strongly that the growth in biofuels, particularly biodiesel, has only just begun,” Plaza said.