Washington State Pursues Biodiesel Use
OLYMPIA, Wash. --- One of the major objectives for a new Washington state fuel contract is to improve the market for biodiesel fuel, according to a report in the Olympian newspaper. The newspaper said that Steve Krueger, a contract consultant with the state Department of General Administration’s Office of State Procurement, was telling biodiesel suppliers that Washington was "hungry" for their fuel products. Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly fuel made of vegetable oil. Before he left office, former Gov. Gary Locke urged state agencies to start using a 5 percent biodiesel blend in their diesel-powered vehicles as soon as possible and to commit to using a 20 percent biodiesel blend by Sept. 2009.The state Transportation Department last year introduced a pilot program using a biodiesel blend in three state ferries but scrapped the project after problems with clogged fuel filters. Krueger told the newspaper that new contract provisions are aimed at preventing such clogging problems in the future. A number of state bills promoting the use of biodiesel are expected to be introduced next year. One proposal calls for a processing plant in eastern Washington that would produce biodiesel from such crops as mustard and canola, the Olympian reported.