Willie Nelson, attendance showcase how big biodiesel is becoming

By | March 01, 2006
Legendary musician and biodiesel advocate Willie Nelson headlined the 2006 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. However, Nelson was not the only public face to draw attention to the largest event the industry has ever seen. Several other stars; high profile government officials, such as U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson; and private industry leaders helped build biodiesel momentum during the San Diego Convention Center festivities Feb. 5-8.

The conference, hosted by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), drew record attendance, which more than doubled the 2005 numbers-a two-year pattern since the inaugural event-with approximately 2,500 people. There were a record number of exhibitors at the expo as well, with more than 140 companies filling the exhibit hall.
The event wrapped up with Nelson and Daryl Hannah on stage with industry leaders for a live broadcast of the Bill Mack, "Satellite Cowboy," XM Radio show and its regularly scheduled "Willie Wednesday" program. This augmented Nelson's presence at a BioWillie pump opening at the San Diego Pearson Ford Fuel Depot later that afternoon. Pearson Ford Fuel Depot is a station offering several alternative fuels, including BioWillie-Nelson's own brand of B20.

"I'm looking forward to bringing biodiesel to the people of San Diego through the city's first BioWillie pump," said Nelson, a partner in the company Willie Nelson's Biodiesel. "Through biodiesel, we can reduce dependency upon foreign oil and adopt an energy source that's clean, renewable and helps family farmers find new uses for their products."

Other guests appearing onstage during the Bill Mack show included Joe Jobe, CEO of the NBB; Bob Metz, a South Dakota soybean farmer, current president of the American Soybean Association and past NBB chairman; Don Borgman, a market planning manager with John Deere; Hannah; Connie Scarpelli of General Motors; and Carl Cornelius, owner of Carl's Corner, the first truck stop to sell BioWillie, and partner in Willie Nelson's Biodiesel.
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