According to a press release just issued by his campaign, Mike Beebe last night announced that, if elected governor, he would convert state-owned diesel-powered vehicles to run on bio-diesel fuel instead.
"We've set a deadline in 2009 to have 75 percent of our state diesel vehicles running on bio-diesel produced by Arkansas farmers," Beebe told the Arkansas Farm Bureau Young Ranchers. "You are the future of our state's agricultural industry and our economy. You are the people that will produce the crops for bio-diesel and will reap the benefit of cheaper fuel for farm equipment."
Full release after the jump.
BEEBE: 75 PERCENT OF STATE FLEET TO BIO-DIESEL BY 2009
Beebe Talks Jobs and Fuel Prices with Farm Bureau Young Ranchers
(HOT SPRINGS) - In a speech before the Arkansas Farm Bureau Young Ranchers state convention last night, attorney general and nominee for governor Mike Beebe proposed converting the state's fleet of diesel-powered vehicles to bio-diesel as a way to grow the demand here in Arkansas for the product, part of his plan to reduce the price of fuel, create jobs in the bio-fuels industry and invest in the future of agricultural economy.
"We've set a deadline in 2009 to have 75 percent of our state diesel vehicles running on bio-diesel produced by Arkansas farmers," Beebe told the crowd of Young Ranchers, those 18-35. "You are the future of our state's agricultural industry and our economy. You are the people that will produce the crops for bio-diesel and will reap the benefit of cheaper fuel for farm equipment.
"But this is something that impacts all of us, across our state. As we address the issues of ethanol production from bio-mass and the blossoming renewable-diesel industry in Arkansas, we want to encourage local, in-state demand for the product without creating so much demand that the fuel is supplied by out-of-state suppliers. In this way, we will fuel our state vehicles while supporting local development of renewable diesel, creating jobs and expanding the market for our agricultural products."
By the end of Fiscal Year 2009, 75 percent of state diesel-fueled vehicles will be using at least a B20 blend (20 percent bio-diesel) provided that the fuel is supplied by Arkansas-producers and cost-effective, under Beebe's plan. As a part of this plan, the state will set up a tracking system to monitor both the costs and fuel efficiency for state vehicles. Renewable diesel includes bio-diesel, pyrolysis oils, and other biomass-derived liquids.
Bio-diesel is a renewable fuel derived from natural oils like soybean oil or animal fat. Bio-diesel can be used in any concentration with petroleum-based diesel fuel in existing diesel engines, with little or no modification.
Typically, bio-diesel is blended with diesel at levels ranging from 2 percent (called B2) to 20 percent (B20).