A Tale of Two Biodiesel Cities

This is a tale of two cities.  Two cities that have decided to turn their government fleets into biodiesel fleets. Biodiesel is created when you combine ethanol and waste vegetable oil to manufacture a chemical reaction that produces fuel for vehicles. This fuel can be used in any standard diesel engine and has paved the way to creating thousands of jobs on the local and national level.

In the tale of the first city, Dallas was the first in the nation to “utilize a new biodiesel additive that reduces NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions” in 2007. Ever since then, the city has continued to use biodiesel in its hundreds of utility trucks, construction equipment, sanitation and utility trucks on the blend.  Now Dallas is a case study that paved the way for future cities to replicate their groundbreaking program.

Then in the tale of the second city, Hoover, Alabama fuels 88% of their public works fleet that includes vehicles from the police force and the community trolley. Hoover also makes their own biodiesel with their community collection of vegetable oil that is donated from residents and local restaurants. They also convert wood waste and yard debris into fuel. Hoover currently has the largest alternative-fueled Law Enforcement Fleet in the country.

On the national level, this technology has created more than 31,000 U.S. jobs (in 2011) and will produce $1.7 billion in the U.S. economy according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).  The board also notes that biodiesel will create “an estimated $345 million in federal tax revenue and $283 million in state and local tax revenues.” NBB goes even further by pointing out that by 2015 74,000 jobs can be created.

These jobs can only be created if Congress extends a tax credit that is set to expire in December 2011. There is already bipartisan support in Congress with the introduction of a three year tax incentive extension bill S. 1277 and HR 2238. Congress has their hands full, and really can’t seem to agree on too much these days, but creating 74,000 jobs over the next four years seems like a great start in turning the U.S. economy around while investing in clean technology.