Pennsylvania governor announces Biofuels Leadership Awards, looks to China

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell certainly likes to be in the green car news. He's been pushing for increased state hybrid rebates recently, and yesterday he announced the fourteen winners of the Governor's Biofuels Leadership Awards. These awards, given to business and community leaders, are part of Rendell's PennSecurity Fuels Initiative, which will spend $30 million over the next five years to produce and use 900 million gallons annually of clean, domestic fuel (conveniently, this is equivalent to what the state is expected to import from the Persian Gulf 10 years from now). You can see all the awardees after the jump.
In other Pennsylvania news, the ideas behind the state's renewable energy program will take to the road and be on display in China at the Great Wall Renewable Finance Forum 2006.

[Source: Pennsylvania Office of the Governor]

Pioneering Clean Fuels from Pennsylvania Sources
YORK - Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced 14 Pennsylvania business and community leaders have been presented with Governor's Biofuels Leadership Awards.
The awards were presented today at the "Biofuels – A Pennsylvania Reality" event focusing on biodiesel and ethanol fuel development and deployment. The seminar was hosted by the Governor's Agriculture Renewable Energy Council and the Regional Economic Development District Initiatives of Southcentral Pennsylvania (REDDI) in York.
"Pennsylvania is a leader in alternative energy because of visionary leaders such as these," Governor Rendell said. "My administration has supported their efforts, and each of these leaders took a significant risk to advance our energy independence and to make clean sources of energy a reality in Pennsylvania. When you ride a bus fueled by low-emissions biodiesel made from Pennsylvania soybeans; thank them. When you fill your tank with E85 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; thank them.
"And the next time a foreign energy tyrant rattles his sword and your energy prices don't skyrocket because you are using biofuels made in Pennsylvania, I will thank these leaders and you," Governor Rendell said. "Our energy future depends not only on these entrepreneurs but also on those of us who purchase biofuels and equipment that uses biofuels. In the cycle of supply and demand, we all play a role in making Pennsylvania a leader in clean, reliable sources of power."
Governor Rendell created the Renewable Agricultural Energy Council one year ago to focus on developing and expanding agricultural energy industries in Pennsylvania.
"We recognize these businesses and community leaders for their initiative and success in researching, developing and promoting biofuels production and utilization in Pennsylvania," Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said. "Through their efforts, our agricultural industry has played a significant role in bringing energy independence to the commonwealth."
"Supporting alternative energy technologies positions Pennsylvania to capture a market for the development and deployment of a whole new generation of power sources and fuels, putting residents to work in dynamic new manufacturing sectors and improving the environment," Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said. "Environmental protection is driving economic development."
The Renewable Agricultural Energy Council is among a number of policy and financial tools the Governor has designed to promote advanced energy projects in the state.
Governor Rendell's "PennSecurity Fuels Initiative" will produce and use 900 million gallons annually of clean, domestic fuel --- an amount equivalent to what the state is expected to import from the Persian Gulf 10 years from now. The Governor is investing $30 million over the next five years to build refueling and production infrastructure to support wide distribution of the alternative fuels.
Pennsylvania also very well could be the nation's leading producer of biodiesel by the end of next year, going from practically nowhere a year ago to a projected 40 million gallons of annual production. The state already is home to the East Coast's first, state-of-the-art, biofuels injection facility, which will replace 3.2 million gallons of foreign oil with domestically produced biodiesel and keep at home $6 million worth of energy dollars by reducing the state's need to purchase imported fuels.
In 2004, Governor Rendell signed into law an act that expanded the Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants program to include an incentive to buy down the incremental cost of purchasing biofuels for local governments and nonprofit entities, and a reimbursement of up to 5 cents per gallon for Pennsylvania producers of biodiesel and ethanol produced for use as transportation fuel.
AFIG also offers user-friendly rebates instead of grants to residents who purchase hybrid electric vehicles. This year, Governor Rendell doubled the hybrid vehicle rebate program to $3 million. Since its inception in 1992, AFIG has awarded $28.7 million for 984 projects in 50 counties, leveraging more than $78 million from public and private fleet operators, fuel providers and the federal government.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is a list of the recipients of the Governor's Biofuels Leadership Awards:
  • Philadelphia Fry-O-Diesel LLC -- Nadia Adawi, president. Philadelphia Fry-O-Diesel is an industry leader, proving that it is technically and economically viable to produce high-quality biodiesel from restaurant trap grease. Fry-O-Diesel is currently working toward development of a commercial production facility.
  • Keystone BioFuels Inc. -- Race Miner, chief executive officer. Cumberland County-based Keystone BioFuels shipped the first commercial load of biodiesel made in Pennsylvania and has been an industry leader in promoting the utilization of biodiesel-blended fuel to the general public.
  • Worley & Obetz Inc. -- Jeff Lyons, chief executive officer. Lancaster County-based Worley & Obetz has worked hard to grow Pennsylvania's renewable fuels industry. Worley & Obetz has installed the only two injection blending facilities in the commonwealth, greatly facilitating access and utilization of biodiesel blends. They are pioneers in offering ethanol to the transportation industry, and have played a key role in incorporating biofuels into the Northeast home heating oil market.
  • York City -- Mayor John Brenner. Mayor Brenner has been a leader in advancing biofuels use by city government. York, under the mayor's leadership, has made major commitments to use biofuels in every department. The city began using a 20 percent biodiesel blend (B20) in October 2005 and has committed to using 56,000 gallons of B20 over a three-year period.
  • United Oil Co. -- Charles Cross, president. This 100-year-old, family-owned company based in Pittsburgh was Pennsylvania's first commercial biodiesel producer.
  • United Biofuels -- Nicholas Kukrika, founding partner. York-based United Biofuels was founded in 2005 and anticipates producing close to 2 million gallons of biodiesel by October 2007. UB has worked closely with Rabbit Transit, West Shore EMS and York City to set up storage and delivery at their locations and to secure state funding for their biodiesel projects.
  • Cumberland County -- Commissioner Rick Rovegno. The commissioner has introduced county government to biofuels. Under his leadership, Cumberland County has taken great strides to incorporate biofuels into its generators and trucks.
  • West Shore Emergency Medical Services -- H. Larry Roberts, chief operating officer. The West Shore EMS in Camp Hill, Cumberland County, initiated a project in 2005 to use B20 in 25 of its emergency vehicles. It has committed to using 41,100 gallons of B20 over a three-year period.
  • John W. Gleim Jr. Inc. – John W. Gleim Jr. The Carlisle, Cumberland County-based excavating contractor is committed to using biofuels in its business operations. Gleim has also been a major advocate for biofuels and energy independence and has taken every opportunity to educate the public about biofuels.
  • Sheetz Inc. -- Mike Lorenz, vice president of petroleum and supply, and Colleen DeVooris. Altoona-based Sheetz has demonstrated its commitment to biofuels by offering 85 percent ethanol blends (E85) at three retail locations in Allegheny County.
  • Rabbit Transit -- Richard H. Farr, executive director. The authority is responsible for introducing biodiesel to the public transportation sector, a heavy user of petroleum-based diesel fuel. Its project to use almost 1.3 million gallons of B20 over a three-year period was launched in Oct. 2005. Those efforts have helped to reduce costs and improve air quality in York County.
  • The Pennsylvania State University -- Glen R. Cauffman, manager of farm operations and facilities. Under Cauffman's leadership, Penn State has switched all their tractors and trucks to biodiesel. They have also switched most campus elevators and heavy equipment to biodegradable hydraulic fluid. Cauffman had dedicated a large amount of his time to public speaking and educational outreach on biofuels.
  • Export Fuel Co. – Richard Morchesky, co-owner. Export Fuels was the first company in Pennsylvania to begin selling biodiesel to the public.
  • Moyer Plumbing and Heating Co. – Steven T. Moyer, president. Moyer Plumbing and Heating has been offering a B10 heating oil blend to its customers for several years, and its heating oil is low sulfur, voluntarily exceeding minimum specifications for the fuel.

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