Important Policy at the Local Level

In Washington state and South Dakota, policy makers are approving biofuel growth
By Luke Geiver | April 21, 2011

Federal policy may be in constant flux, but at the state level there are some pending policy measures that reveal a bright biodiesel path for years to come. In Washington, Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, has sponsored SB 5478, aimed at helping a 2006 state push to develop feedstock, production capacity and infrastructure for biodiesel. The bill will mandate a 2 percent use of biodiesel in all on-road diesel blends, and there’s a kicker. The bill states that, “Beginning 60 days after the director determines that production of biodiesel fuel in this state from feedstock grown or produced in Washington has reached a level of at least 15 million gallons over the preceding 12 months, all diesel fuel sold or offered for sale in Washington”—and this is the good part—“must contain at least 5 percent biodiesel fuel or renewable diesel fuel by volume.”

In South Dakota, Gov. Dennis Daugaurd has signed a bill that could have a huge impact on the growth of biofuels in the state. Under HB 1216, gas stations will now have the ability to offer various blends of both ethanol and biodiesel, regardless of what any franchisor says. According to the bill, “No franchise-related document entered into or renewed on or after July 1, 2008, may contain any provision allowing a franchisor to restrict the franchisee or any affiliate of the franchisee from” installing a renewable fuel pump or tank, converting existing pumps or fuel for renewable blend use or, among others, selling renewable fuel.

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