Mark Schaff has an idea. He thinks that the interstate in his home of Etna Township in Licking County, OH should not be lined with grass that grows there wildly now. Instead, he wants something more useful. Schaff has urged state transportation officials to rip out the green stretches of turf that line the medians and plant biofuel crops like safflower, dwarf sunflower and canola instead. In addition to saving the state money on mowing expenses, Schaff points out that the crops could be sold to biodiesel processors for profit.

His vision is not unique. Schaff presented the idea to the state after reading about a related program in Utah, which has since led to a national movement called FreeWays to Fuel. The program seeks ways to convert underutilized state land, estimated to be about 10 million acres across the nation, into biofuel crop sites. Last summer, North Carolina planted the biofuel crops on unused land. WIthin a year's time, Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia and Tennessee will join in on the action as well.

[Source: The Columbus Dispatch | Image: RuTemple – C.C. License 2.0]

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