Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BioDiesel - A Biofuel That Doesn't Compete With Food Supply

BioDiesel Barrels

I drive a BioDiesel Volkswagen Jetta. For about a decade now one of the local filling stations has been selling BioDiesel, including 99%, or B-99 grade. For some reason they have to blend 1% regular diesel fuel to qualify for some sort of tax credit so the B-100 that was once available is now B-99.


Biodiesel is a sustainable fuel that can be produced from non-food crops and waste sources such as used restaurant grease. Even with biodiesel made from soybean oil, Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board states “more than 80 percent of each soybean is still used for animal feed or food. Biodiesel’s effect on the food supply is minimal, and to claim otherwise is nothing short of intellectually dishonest.” Jobe noted that less than five percent of the world’s soybeans are used for U.S. biodiesel production.

Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture released economic analysis that shows high energy prices, increasing global demand, drought and other factors are the primary drivers of higher food costs. USDA has posted economic analysis and charts ( that document that “even with the current uptick in food price inflation, it is much lower than it was in the 1970s and early 1980.” “Let’s not lose sight of all the benefits biodiesel has to offer,” Jobe said. “It is a green fuel, creating green jobs and beefing up our national energy security. We should continue to support biodiesel as part of our longterm energy strategy.”

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