First B20 pump opens in Kansas City

By | June 01, 2006
United Beverage Company, a downtown Kansas City, Mo., distributor for Anheuser-Busch, now fuels its fleet of 22 diesel delivery trucks with a blend of 20 percent biodiesel. James Brooks, vice president of sales for United Beverage, said the vehicles will fill up at the Valero station located at 201 West 6th Street. It's the area's first biodiesel retail outlet.

"This was an easy choice for us because biodiesel is good for the environment," Brooks said. "We're an urban wholesaler with lots of trucks on the streets downtown. Using biodiesel is something good we can do for ourselves and for our city."

Representatives from the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition, Maher Oil, West Central, the city of Kansas City and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) kicked off the pump opening April 14. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., also joined in the celebration.

"I applaud the producers, the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition and the local business community for their commitment to create Missouri's first major metropolitan-area biodiesel fueling station," said Talent, who serves as cochairman of the Renewable Fuels Caucus.

Maher Oil Company, along with biodiesel producer West Central, has directly supplied Kansas City with more than 1.3 million gallons of B20 annually for the past several years. The city uses B20 in 900 trucks and pieces of equipment, along with the city of Olathe and Kansas City Power & Light.

"I believe using biodiesel is good for America, and frankly it's also good for business," said John Cook, owner of Maher Oil. "Carrying biodiesel has created new customers for us. We wouldn't have large fleet customers, like the city and the power company, if we didn't have biodiesel. I'm confident that opening this public pump will bring us more customers, who believe using biodiesel is the right thing to do."

The pump is one of an estimated 700 biodiesel stations nationwide.
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