New Mexico considers B5 requirement

By Dave Nilles | January 24, 2007
Add another state to those considering a biodiesel blend requirement. New Mexico's house and senate are looking at identical bills that would require 5 percent biodiesel in the state's fuel supply.

Senate Bill 489 and House Bill 218 would require that all diesel fuel used in state vehicles must include B5 by July 1, 2010. The bill would affect all diesel fuel sold in the state by July 1, 2012.

The bill includes a safety net should biodiesel prices rise or availability becomes scarce. The state's Department of Energy director would have the authority to suspend the requirement due to a lack of adequate supply or if there is a substantial price increase in diesel fuel. If the wholesale price per gallon of biodiesel exceeds the wholesale price per gallon of diesel fuel by more than 5 percent for at least two months the bill could be suspended for up to six months.

The director could also suspend the sale of biodiesel if sufficient amounts of biodiesel aren't available. The text of the bill on the New Mexico legislature's Web site didn't make clear as to what the director could deem as insufficient amounts of biodiesel.

New Mexico has no producing biodiesel plants, although at least six projects have been proposed in the state. Two projects are slated for Clovis, N.M., including a 15 MMgy project developed through a joint venture between Blue Sun Biodiesel LLC and Applied Research and Engineering Corporation.

Senate Bill 489 would also allow the percentage of biodiesel to reach up to, but not exceed, 20 percent by 2020.

Several other states are considering similar legislation. The Montana state Senate approved legislation that would require up to 5 percent biodiesel in the state's diesel supply. Oregon's House of Representatives also recently passed a bill that would require the use of biodiesel and/or ethanol blends in the state's fuel supply. Missouri is also considering a 5 percent biodiesel requirement that would take effect in 2009.

Dave Nilles is Online Editor for Biodiesel Magazine. Reach him at [email protected] or (701) 373-0636.

Posted: 12:03 p.m. CST Friday, March 9, 2007
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