Willie Nelson celebrates official launch of premier Texas biodiesel truck stop

By | August 01, 2005
Willie Nelson, adored by millions for his musical talent, continued his effort to get biodiesel into the tanks of more American trucks over the Fourth of July weekend. The singer officially launched a biodiesel station in Carl's Corner, Texas, with a party worthy of the Lone Star State, including an afternoon of music, entertainment and fun at the official kick-off of biodiesel availability at Carl's Corner truck stop, entertainment center and restaurant.

Carl's Corner, located off Highway 35 south of Dallas, is a biodiesel station selling Nelson's brand of B20 (20 percent biodiesel mixed with 80 percent diesel). Since October 2004, the station has been test marketing the blend with truckers.

"The response from my trucker customers so far has been phenomenal," said Carl Cornelius, co-owner of Carl's Corner. "Almost everybody who's used it has been totally satisfied. I'm learning from truckers they find better mileage, smoother performance and more power. They're pretty excited. Everybody ought to get on this bandwagon."

Open to the public and free of charge, the day-long celebration featured tractor pulls, chili cook-offs and live music. Nelson performed a sold-out concert at nearby Hank's Place, and brought Joe Jobe, chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) on stage with him to speak to the fans about biodiesel.

"As the first truck stop owner in the country to offer only biodiesel blends, Carl is truly a pioneer," Jobe said. "As a business owner he was willing to risk losing customers by saying, 'If you don't like biodiesel, you can go on down the road.' Carl's Corner is incorporated as a town, and Carl is the mayor. Between Mayor Cornelius, Willie Nelson, XM radio and biodiesel, it is easy to see that there is something very special going on down here in this little corner of the world. The truckers are not going on down the road. They have heard about biodiesel on XM radio and are coming from all over the country to use this American-grown fuel, and they are proud of it. And I am proud of them for supporting Carl, and for supporting biodiesel."

During the event, NBB presented Cornelius with the Biodiesel Pioneer Award for his commitment to bringing biodiesel to truckers.
Nelson started his company, the Willie Nelson Biodiesel Co., with partners Cornelius and Distribution Drive to improve air quality and help America's family farmers find new uses for their products. Both Nelson and fellow artist Neil Young use biodiesel in their tour buses and personal vehicles.

Nelson has been opening other biodiesel truck stops throughout the South and Southeast, and the company expects its growth will include truck stops carrying the B20 along the East Coast from Miami to Rochester, N.Y.
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