Utah law encourages biodiesel use

While H.R. 5 signed by Gov. Herbert encourages biodiesel use in Utah, exactly how the state plans to do so is less than clear
By Ron Kotrba | May 07, 2014

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed several clean air bills into law recently, one of which (H.R. 5) is a resolution that encourages biodiesel use.

The bill expresses support for the continued development and implementation of biodiesel in the state; recognizes the significant economic and environmental benefits that biodiesel can bring to Utah; and strongly urges individuals, restaurants and other businesses, schools and jails, to dispose of their waste oils at a Utah-based biodiesel company that will convert the waste product to biodiesel fuel, and by so doing, help diversify Utah’s energy portfolio, provide jobs, and clean the environment.

“It appears that H.R. 5 is just a simple resolution and lacks any real substance to further the promotion and use of biodiesel in the state of Utah,” Graydon Blair, owner of Utah Biodiesel Supply, tells Biodiesel Magazine.

While the resolution is clearly supportive of biodiesel, exactly how the state plans to promote biodiesel is less clear.

“By passing these two coordinated bills—H.R. 5 and S.B. 242—aimed at advancing biofuel production and utilization in the state of Utah, the state has recognized the value of biofuels as a means both to improve air quality along the Wasatch Front, and to advance other key goals such as job creation and the environmentally sound recycling of waste materials,” Nate McDonald, public information officer for the office of Utah Gov. Herbert, tells Biodiesel Magazine.

S.B. 242 provides economic development incentives for alternative energy projects.

“While the encouragement from the state is good and worthwhile as a whole, it would be nice to see some sort of an action plan built into H.R. 5 to help actually increase the use of biodiesel in the Beehive State,” Blair says. “As for Utah Biodiesel Supply, outside of the state of Utah encouraging people to use biodiesel and recycle their oil with companies that make it into biodiesel, we don't foresee it impacting us or other biodiesel-related businesses in Utah at all. However, it's nice to see that the state of Utah recognizes the benefits of biodiesel and it's encouraging to see a resolution such as HR 5 being issued.”

H.B. 61, also signed into law last week by Gov. Herbert, allows grant funding for conversion of vehicles to run on clean fuels; namely propane, natural gas or electricity, and “other fuel that meets the clean fuel vehicle standards in the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7521.”