February 28, 2011

US state to grow biofuel crops along Thruway

In the US Senator Kevin Parker has introduced a new legislation designed to reduce New York's reliance on imported diesel fuel and lower greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted from the state's fleet of vehicles.

'New York state agencies and authorities use more than 55 million gallons of diesel fuel per year,' says Parker. 'By producing biofuel in unused lands along the Thruway, my legislation will increase New York's energy independence, lower diesel emissions and lower the state's costs for vehicle fuel.'

The Thruway to Fuelway pilot programme would replace existing grasses and other vegetation along the New York Thruway median strips with biofuel crops such as soy, canola, jatropha, mahua, mustard, flax, sunflower, palm oil and field pennycress. Biodiesel made from these feedstocks can be utilised in standard diesel engines without the need for modification.

Parker is proposing this legislation as a two-year pilot programme, during which the authority will determine the fiscal viability and survivability of using the Thruway median strip plantings as a source of biofuel.

It will also study a variety of cost-benefit factors arising from the growth and harvesting of the biofuel crops.





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