Planets Align to Push Biodiesel Forward

One small excerpt from today's New York Times lays out the scenario driver: "In many parts of the country, retailers and distributors report tight diesel supplies. Jay Ricker, who owns 33 service stations and delivers fuels to 30 other stores, said farmers and truckers in the northeast Indiana towns he serves were struggling...In Atlanta, Tex Pitfield, another distributor, said the large regional terminals where his drivers pick up fuel are running out as early as 9 a.m. "This is insane," he said. "They need to ration this stuff..."" Anyone lucky enough to be driving a car capable of running on pure biodiesel has got to be feeling pretty smug. For you lucky ones, we suggest not boasting too much. Certain models have a way of going up on the list of those more frequently stolen. Maybe prying off that little "TDI" logo would be good idea as a security measure. Oops...forgot: the french-fry odor is a dead giveaway. Well, at least enjoy it with a smile. And play Willie for us.Rumors of new diesel models to be coming to the showrooms include: a GM V6 for smaller vehicles; a Ford clean-running diesel for the Focus; Detroit Diesel "Delta" V6 diesel in SUVs and light trucks; Mercedes model E Class sedans; and, a VW 12-cylinder diesel for what model we have no clue. Demand for such is going to take off if the warranty includes a "bio-diesel ready" statement. If not, the market in used diesel powered cars will have to pick up the slack.

And on the planet Uranus...our sources tell us the oil industry may already have a base there... EPA appears to be leaning toward fuel controls on air toxics such as benzene, a known human carginogen. Agency estimates from a few years back indicated that the benzene content of gasoline was approaching 1%. Whatever the average percent is for benzene in gasoline now, biodiesel has none. UPDATE: EPA's upcoming National Air Toxics Assessment based on air toxics data from 1999 will show that benzene is seen as the most significant toxic contributor to cancer risks, and that mobile sources make up almost 70 percent of benzene emissions.

Venus is for farmers (men and women farm, so we're leaving Mars out of it ok?) With the port of New Orleans inoperable after this fall's harvest, soybeans that may have been exported could well be diverted to US biodiesel production.