Highest biodiesel honors awarded at national conference in Fla.

By The National Biodiesel Board | February 07, 2012

New York City is known as a world hub for economic activity and commerce and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is key in keeping the Big Apple moving. Its charges include America's busiest airport system: JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International, as well as marine terminals and ports, the PATH rail system, six tunnels and bridges, and the World Trade Center.

In a pioneering move for a public agency, the Port Authority is committed to reducing emissions from operations by 80 percent by 2050, with biodiesel as a key part of that plan. The Port Authority has used biodiesel since 2000 with all of their diesel vehicles running on B20, including vital snow removal equipment.

On Feb. 6, the National Biodiesel Board recognized the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and other biodiesel champions at the annual "Eye on Biodiesel" awards presentation. The awards were presented at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo this week in Orlando.

The National Biodiesel Board's 2012 "Eye on Biodiesel Award" categories and their winners are:

Impact: Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc and Hino Trucks. In 2011 two new equipment manufacturers joined the ranks of B20 supporters. Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., announced that all of its 2011 and forward model year diesel trucks are approved for use with B20. Isuzu was a trailblazer as the first Asian manufacturer to approve B20 for U.S. market spec engines. According to Isuzu, the announcement of B20 support was the result of three key factors: growing consumer demand for biodiesel, an extensive internal research project on B20 by Isuzu engineers, and improved biodiesel fuel quality. Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, then multiplied the market impact in July by becoming the first manufacturer to support the use of B20 biodiesel blends in a hybrid-electric truck, as well as in its complete product line of class 4 and 5 cab over, and class 6 and 7 conventional trucks. Hino Trucks is the world's third largest manufacturer of light and medium duty trucks, and now the fastest growing truck manufacturer in the U.S. With these two additions, 95 percent of the U.S. medium duty truck market now approves B20.

Industry Partnership: U.S. EPA, Paul Argyropoulos and the Office of Transportation and Air Quality. The EPA has taken a strong leadership role in creating a workable renewable fuels program under the Clean Air Act that meets the intent of Congress to stimulate domestically produced, alternative fuels. "Throughout the past four years, NBB has worked with EPA on implementation of the program and we appreciate their willingness to listen to our industry in making critical policy decisions," said Anne Steckel, vice president of Federal Affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. "The agency's balanced, professional oversight has ensured that the nation is meeting the goals that Congress envisioned, including strong, sustainable growth in Biomass-based Diesel production."

Initiative: Brent Hajek, Hajek Motorsports. "Just because it's 'green' doesn't mean it's slow." That's the mantra of Brent Hajek, owner of Hajek Motorsports and record-setting driver of the 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck that sped to an amazing new 182 mph land speed record running on a 20 percent (B20) biodiesel blend at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah last summer. Hajek set out to prove that B20 isn't only cleaner and greener, but it has the ability to perform better than petroleum diesel even under the most demanding conditions.

Innovation: Keith Kline and Virginia Dale- Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The environmental benefits of biodiesel are many. In this age of skepticism and competition for resources, it behooves us to quantify the environmental benefits in methodical and scientific ways. Keith Kline and Virginia Dale are leaders in scientific thought and published research on the true environmental impact of biodiesel and renewable fuels. Their published works on measurement of land use change and environmental impacts of feedstock production provide needed perspective in a political atmosphere that threatens to stymie advancement of alternative fuels due to speculation and unsupported claims against the environmental reputation of biofuels.

Influence: The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The Port Authority has been a strong biodiesel supporter and user since 2000 using B20 in all their diesel vehicles used to maintain famous New York and New Jersey locations such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, the World Trade Center and JFK International airport. Their biodiesel fueling network includes 12 onsite fueling locations in addition to a network of off-site retail service stations. Their strong commitment to biodiesel remains an example for fleets across the country.

During the conference, NBB also presented its Pioneer Award to Krysta Harden, Chief of Staff for USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. Throughout her three decades in Washington D.C. Harden has held numerous positions including CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Senior VP for the agriculture consulting firm Gordley Associates, professional staff member for the House Agriculture Committee and chief of staff to former Congressman Charles Hatcher (D-GA). During her work with Gordley Associates, representing the American Soybean Association, Harden was instrumental in laying the groundwork for federal biodiesel policies that have been hugely successful in growing a viable biodiesel industry. Harden continues to be a leader on biofuels in Washington due to her passion for the agriculture industry, environmental issues and energy.

"Biodiesel, America's advanced biofuel, would not be what it is today without champions and supporters like these Eye on Biodiesel honorees," said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. "We are proud to recognize these leaders from all facets of the biodiesel industry."

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