NBB protects biodiesel's good name

By | March 09, 2009
Spring's warmth is a welcome change after a cold winter, especially for some students in Bloomington, Minn., who were left outside after buses stalled in below-zero temperatures earlier this winter. Twelve of the school district's 109 buses had problems on a minus-25 degree morning. The school district was quick to inaccurately blame Minnesota's B2 requirement and biodiesel for the problems.

The National Biodiesel Board, in coordination with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, acted quickly to provide the facts and protect biodiesel's good name.

An independent report issued by Meg Corp. and paid for by the distributor that supplied the fuel, Yokum Oil, analyzed filters from the buses that broke down. "We found that whatever was plugging the filters was not biodiesel, but a substance found in petroleum," the report concludes.

Several local and national news outlets set the record straight.

A Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial called the situation an "unearned black eye for biodiesel fuel." It further said, "With Minnesota poised to transition to a higher percentage of biodiesel this spring, it's important to set the record straight on the Bloomington bus issue. Biodiesel wasn't the culprit causing the school buses to stall out. Unfortunately, the brouhaha has given the state's pioneering mandates and the promising biodiesel industry an undeserved black eye."

One Minnesota reporter considered the coverage on his electronic publication, "At best, the public was left with a he-said, they-said story, even though evidence was piling up on biodiesel's side…the report and genuinely independent experts make a convincing common-sense case the biodiesel blame was overwrought. Next time, let's simply call it a "diesel day off."

View the coverage and the report exonerating biodiesel at www.biodiesel.org.
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