Biofuels corridor promoted for Ohio Route 33

By Susanne Retka Schill | August 19, 2009
Posted September 16, 2009

An Ohio partnership has declared U.S. Route 33 from Columbus, Ohio, to the Ohio River a Biofuels Corridor. Non-profits Rural Action Inc. and Clean Fuels Ohio along with Hocking College Energy Institute are promoting the use of biodiesel along the highway corridor. The objective is to have at least six retail biodiesel fueling points and buses from at least three school districts using biodiesel along the four-county route. Part of the initiative to inform potential suppliers and users that Ohio has grant money available for both biodiesel dispensing stations at the retail level and for the incremental cost difference between petroleum diesel and biodiesel for K-12 school buses.

Rural Action volunteer Robin Kinney said he has been meeting with business, school districts and government agencies that could dispense or use biodiesel, inviting them to attend an Oct. 23 workshop to learn more about biodiesel use and the details of available grants. "What I'm finding with retailers is that so many are corporate owned. Making calls to corporate offices can be a challenge," Kinney said. In one visit to the offices of a grocery store chain with fuel pumps, he said a manager in the meeting spoke up to say all of his vehicles were diesel and he used biodiesel whenever possible. That spontaneous endorsement seemed to motivate the staff to work through the corporate hurdles. "I'm hoping Kroegers will be part of the corridor," he said. In visiting with school districts, he added, some are already using B20 as part of the state program. With several biodiesel producers in Ohio, Kinney added, "Some school districts are telling me that they're buying biodiesel cheaper than diesel."

"We see this as a big advantage for biodiesel producers and farmers," Kinney explained. "That's why we consider it sustainable." Rural Action seeks to build model sustainable development projects in its mission to foster social, economic and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio. Clean Fuels Ohio is a statewide non-profit dedicated to promoting the use of cleaner domestic fuels and efficient vehicles. Hocking College Energy Institute is a state college with technician training programs in several alternative energy technologies.
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