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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo: Former President Clinton Backs Biodiesel Use in Katrina Clean-up

Articles / Biomass
Posted by gfoat on Sep 22, 2005 - 07:31 PM

Former President Bill Clinton has publicly endorsed the use of biodiesel in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort and in other applications. Speaking recently at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a global conference to develop policies and implement solutions to the world’s most challenging problems, Clinton thanked Biodiesel America, a nonprofit leading the effort to get biodiesel donations into hurricane-stricken areas.

President Clinton honored one of the organization’s leaders, Richard Blackledge, for his efforts to educate the public about the fuel, and for the emergency fuel shipments he has been coordinating along with Josh Tickell, founder of the Veggie Van Organization, who is in Louisiana helping with the effort.

“Biodiesel America is committed to mitigating climate change and increasing America’s energy independence through public school education on biodiesel and restoration of the coastal areas of Louisiana with biodiesel-generated support systems,” Clinton said. “Their initial investment of $50,000 will lead up to a million dollars in services to assist the immediate recovery of southern Louisiana oil-producing and fishing towns….this is a very, very important thing…I hope you become a household name in America.”

Through the establishment of the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, President George W. Bush has drawn on both Clinton and George H. W. Bush to lead the effort of appealing to Americans to aid the hurricane relief effort. Biodiesel America has donated $50,000 to the relief effort and coordinated the donation of thousands of gallons of biodiesel from West Central, an Iowa-based biodiesel producer. The alternative fuel is powering generators, ships and mobile medical units along the Gulf.

“It is an honor to have President Clinton join our current president in showing such strong support for biodiesel,” said Joe Jobe, executive director of the National Biodiesel Board, which has also helped coordinate donations of fuel. “Biodiesel crosses party lines. It crosses many sections of our society. Most Americans agree it just makes sense to use biodiesel when they hear of the environmental, economic and energy security benefits it offers.”

Blackledge said it was the moment of a lifetime. “It was a real honor to stand shoulder to shoulder with President Clinton,” he said. “I think it is a sign of how far biodiesel has come. President Bush recently talked biodiesel with Tony Blair. World leaders are taking notice and throwing their weight behind biodiesel.”

Biodiesel can be made from any fat or vegetable oil, such as soybean oil. It works in any diesel engine and can be used in its pure form, or blended with petroleum diesel at any level. Biodiesel is cleaner burning and has the highest energy balance of any transportation fuel. Nationwide, more than 500 major fleets now use biodiesel commercially, and more than 500 retail filling stations also make it available to the public.

To follow Josh Tickell's journey in the relief effort or make a donation, visit [1] Readers can learn more about biodiesel at [2]

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