The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) applauded the White House's directive ordering the federal government to move toward alternative-fuel vehicles, pointing out biodiesel's unique position as a widely available advanced biofuel that significantly reduces emissions and can be used in existing vehicles. 

The federal government uses more than 66 million gallons of diesel fuel and 6.5 million gallons of biodiesel each year. 

"Clearly there is room for continued growth of biodiesel in the federal fleet as biodiesel is perfectly suited for this program," said Gary Haer, vice president of Renewable Energy Group Inc. and chairman of NBB, the national trade association for the U.S. biodiesel industry. "Dozens of local governments, universities and other institutions already are using biodiesel to help green their fleets. It's something the federal government could do immediately, without leaving the taxpayer a big bill for new equipment."

Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is reducing U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum, creating green jobs and improving our environment. Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils and animal fats, it is the only commercial-scale U.S. fuel to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) definition as an advanced biofuel. The EPA has determined that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent compared with petroleum diesel, while also significantly cutting nearly every major air pollutant. 

Its production, distribution and use will support more than 30,000 U.S. jobs and replace nearly 1 billion gallons of petroleum diesel in 2011. Biodiesel meets strict specifications of ASTM D6751 and is warrantied for use by all major engine manufacturers.

"Imagine the entire federal diesel fleet powered by biodiesel. It's within reach, and an achievable objective for this administration," added Haer.