Archive for January, 2009

Washington B2 mandate in effect; Oregon soon to follow

Monday, January 19th, 2009

By Bryan Sims

Bipartisan cooperation for a major statewide energy policy can be hard to come by, but Northwestern states have made it happen.

On Nov. 30, Washington implemented a B2 requirement that was enacted in March 2006 when Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law Senate Bill 6508. Specifically, the legislation mandates fuel retailers to sell a B2 blend within state borders. The requirement will increase to 5 percent once in-state biodiesel production reaches 3 percent of total in-state diesel demand.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture is developing rules to implement the standard, which was endorsed by the state’s Apollo Alliance, Labor Council, Farm Bureau and environmental community. In addition, all state agencies will be required to use a minimum of B20 in all diesel-powered vehicles, vessels and construction equipment by June 1.

The standard contains a contentious caveat, however, according to some existing and future biodiesel producers. “It’s not an enforced mandate,” said Doug Bartlett, chief executive officer of Spokane County Biodiesel, a 1 MMgy plant under construction in Spokane Valley, Wash. “It’s not like you have to do this or else.” The company, which temporarily suspended construction in late December due to limited funding, plans to use yellow grease as its primary feedstock.

Meanwhile, Oregon is ramping up for a similar mandate that the state legislature passed in July 2007. It requires the use of B2 once in-state biodiesel production reached 5 MMgy, which recently occurred. It also allows for an increase to B5 once production reaches 15 MMgy.

SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel LLC, Oregon’s lone operating biodiesel plant in Salem, completed a major expansion from 1 MMgy to 5 MMgy at its three-year old biodiesel facility in early November. It uses waste vegetable oil as a feedstock, as well as locally grown canola oil processed at Willamette Biomass Processors Inc., an 80 million-pound-per-year oilseed crushing plant in Rickreall, Ore., 12 miles west of Salem.

Washington now houses six operating biodiesel plants with a combined production capacity of 141 MMgy, including Inland Empire Oilseeds LLC, which began production at its 8 MMgy canola-based facility in Odessa, Wash, in mid-November. By late December, it had sold 33,000 gallons of B100 and met all ASTM D 6751 specifications. The company, formed three years ago, plans to distribute its renewable fuel throughout the Pacific Northwest and export to Pacific Rim countries. King County, Wash., the largest biodiesel-consuming county in the U.S., will be the company’s core trade area, according to General Manager Steve Starr.

Inland Empire Oilseeds also plans to build an adjacent oilseed crushing facility that can process approximately 35,000 tons of locally produced canola, Starr said. Expected to be operational by June 2009, it will supply up to 50 percent of the canola oil needed for biodiesel production.

To help distribute biodiesel in this emerging market, Exxon Mobil Corp. built a $3 million blending terminal on its 15-acre fuel storage site in Spokane Valley, Wash. The facility, which opened Dec. 1, one day after the statewide B2 mandate went into effect, is Exxon Mobil’s first in the U.S. The oil major said it will use a ratio blending process at the terminal’s loading rack to ensure that an appropriate percentage of biodiesel is transported by truck to local service stations. Chevron Corp. has also announced plans to distribute B5 in Washington. Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP is evaluating the transportation of biodiesel in its 110-mile pipeline between Portland and Eugene, Ore.

Where Do You Want To Go?

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Let ecoShuttle take you to your favorite destinations in 2009! We are proud to provide the utmost customer service in transportation coupled with environmental awareness.jan-3-009.JPG


Oregon conservationists hope for greener 2009

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

6:25 AM PST on Sunday, January 4, 2009

By JEFF BARNARD, AP Environmental Writer GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Conservation groups that spent the past eight years battling the Bush administration over logging, wildlife and global warming are hoping for major changes from the Obama administration and a more strongly Democratic Congress.

Their green wish list includes more wilderness designations, legislation to stop old growth forest logging, ramping up protection of species on the brink of extinction, cutting back on government predator control, and adopting a comprehensive plan to address climate change.

“The challenge for the conservation community is to rise to the occasion,” said Steve Pedery, spokesman for Oregon Wild, a frequent plaintiff in lawsuits challenging Bush administration policies. “This is a fairly historic moment on conservation policy. It is not only the end of the Bush administration, but the greenest Congress and president in 40 years.

“Folks could spend the next four or eight years unraveling the things the Bush administration did in the order they did them, or they could try to move the country ahead on environmental policy and find areas of consensus.”

Andy Kerr, a conservation consultant, said it should be relatively easy for Obama to undo much of what Bush did on the environment, because it was done administratively, by changing rules and regulations, not legislatively.

Prime targets for administrative action are Bush administration polices that made it easier to log, mine and drill for oil in undeveloped sections of national forests known as roadless areas, easing Endangered Species Act requirements for federal agencies, and running up a backlog of candidates for threatened or endangered species designation.

“It would be prudent to assume there will be a Palin administration someday,” Kerr added, referring to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a conservative who was the Republican vice presidential nominee. “That’s why we need to act with Congress to permanently protect the forests.”

Recognizing widespread public support for thinning of crowded young stands susceptible to fire while protecting centuries-old forests that are the foundation of spotted owl and salmon habitat, Oregon Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio are both working on old growth forest protection legislation.

“The devil will be in the details,” Pedery said. “The nature of any legislative effort is it’s a delicate balance.”

Oregon Wild also has its eye on new wilderness designations that would prohibit logging in some prime salmon habitat. Besides the Mount Hood wilderness bill languishing in Congress, it would like to see creation of a Kelsey-Whisky wilderness along the wild section of the Rogue River, and a Devils Staircase wilderness in the Coast Range north of the Umpqua River.

Big Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity are hoping that some of the 251 candidates for Endangered Species Act protection — including the Oregon spotted frog — will get the protections they have been waiting for, and for cutbacks in the numbers of wolves, coyotes, cougars and other predators killed in the name of livestock protection.

Dominick DellaSala, director of the National Center for Conservation Science & Policy, said he is hoping for a clear signal from the Obama administration that key appointments and policy decisions will be based on science.

“That has been lacking the last eight years,” DellaSala said. “Obama has made some great choices,” particularly Oregon State University marine biologist Jane Lubchenco as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory director Steven Chu to be Energy secretary.

On global warming, DellaSala and others are calling for a national summit on climate change, which would address reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting old growth forests as a way of drawing carbon out of the atmosphere.

Though not part of a conservation group, Bob Dopelt, director of the Climate Leadership Initiative at the University of Oregon, said making progress on climate change will be difficult, because even the national environmental groups most interested in the issue have yet to come together on what steps to take.

One major question remains: whether to adopt a cap-and-trade system to limit greenhouse gases, or impose a carbon tax, he noted. While cap-and-trade puts a lid on emissions, it demands a complex regulatory structure. A carbon tax would be easier to implement, and is enjoying growing support.

Dopelt said he thought states like Oregon would be quicker to act than Congress. Oregon is one of seven states to embrace the Western Climate Initiative, which sets a goal of reducing greenhouse gases by about 15 percent by 2020, but leaves to each state how to do it.

Northwest: Reader-friendly, carbon-friendly

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

by Clint Bowie, Special to The Oregonian

Thursday December 25, 2008, 2:00 AM

Powell’s put solar panels on the roof of its warehouse, which houses the online division of the company, in Northwest Portland.

The next time you buy a book online at, your order will be powered — at least in part — by Portland sunshine.

The warehouse in Northwest Portland that houses the online division of the bookstore recently became home to one of the largest solar power installations in Oregon. According to owner Michael Powell, it’s all part of the company’s efforts to minimize its carbon footprint.

“We’ve been looking at ways to become more environmentally friendly,” he says, “and the solar system seemed to be a good fit for ourselves and for the environment.” For the past two years, Powell’s has had a “green committee” that seeks to incorporate sustainable practices into the business. “We are very aware of what we do,” Powell says, “and we try to do what we feel is right — recycling, controlling greenhouse gases, heat control, using biofuel.”

They had looked at installing solar panels on the roof of their downtown City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, but the taller buildings surrounding it would have shielded some of the sunlight.

The unshadowed roof space at the warehouse at 2720 N.W. 29th Ave. provided the ideal spot to soak up the local sun. Don’t laugh — the city’s solar power potential is only 30 percent less than that of Tucson, Ariz., according to Vince McClellan, president of Energy Design, which was responsible for the installation.

The 540 photovoltaic panels that now cover the 60,000-square-foot roof supply about a quarter of the building’s electricity need, Powell says.

Thanks in no small part to federal and state tax credits as well as an Oregon Energy Trust incentive, the system should pay for itself within about five years.

Our Friendly Shuttles

Currently powered by 100% biodiesel.

Browse by Category

100% biodiesel 100 billion 1869 2010 Affordable Health Care Act 2012 2013 4th of July Adam Yauch adopt a highway Ages and Ages agriculture air pollution air port transportation Alberta Canada Alexana Winery algae algae blooms alternative energy American Chemistry Council Americans animal exctinction animal fats animals apple Archery Summit Athens Atlants Falcons b20 b99 Bamboo Sushi Bangladesh Barack Obama basic rights bear Beastie Boys beer Bengals Berkeley Better Living Show big oil bike bike lanes BikeBar bikes Bill Clinton biodiesel biodynamics Birdfest and Bluegrass Birdfest and Bluegrass Nature Festival birth rate Bison Organic Brewing Black Friday Black Mountain BLIZZAKS blog Bluefin Tuna bluegrass Blues Fest Bobcats Booker T bourbon Bravo Wedding Affair Brazil brew tours brewpubs Buddy Guy bus buses Business Success buy local California Cape Wind Project carbon carbon dioxide carbon emissions carbon foot print carbon legacy Carbon Neutral Challenge carless in portland cars Central America Century Link Field Champoeg Farms charter Chehalem Winery Chernobyl Chicago Chicago Cubs Chicago River China Christmas Christmas tree Cincinnati Reds Cinco De Mayo clean coal clean energy clean energy initiatives Clean Fuels Now climate change coal coal ash cold water laundry colonizing the ocean Columbia Boulevard Columbia Gorge Columbia River Gorge Committed Wedding Event Community Supported Agriculture compost consumption Cooper Mountain Wines cost effective CSM Monitor Cuyahoga River cyclist Daryl Hanna Dave Kestenbaum Daves Killer Bread Dawn of the Bed De Ponte Cellars debris department of defense deposits Dhani Jones dogs dolphins Domaine Drouhin Dr. Robert Ballard drilling drive less Duck Pond eco friendly eco friendly christmas tree eco friendly holiday eco friendly transportation eco portland eco toys ecofriendly EcoHouse ecoShuttle Ecotrope election 2012 electric cars electricity energy environment Environmental Defense EPA facebook Fake Plastic Trees fall travel fauna federal government first thursday fiscal responsibility fish deformities Fish Tale Organic Beer Fisker Karma. Chevy Volt food food supply food waste football Forbes Ford forest park Fourth of July fracking fun Galactic Galleria building George H.W. Bush George W. Bush Germany Glass Candy Glen Jackson Bridge global warming Google Gorge Tour Gov. Schwarzenegger Grain and Gristle Great Willamette Cleanup green beer Green Coach Certification green gifts green house gases green oregon Green Path Green Path Transfers green portland Green Portland Tours green roofs Green Sports Alliance green sprouts Green Tips green transportation green wedding greenest city in america greenloop Grochau Cellars Growing Gardens GrowingGardens growler Happy Hour Holiday Waste Hood River Fruit Loop Hood River Wine Tour hopworks Hopworks Urban Brewery hot green Hotel Monaco Hotel Oregon hoyt arboretum Hurricane Sandy hydrothermal energy Iberdrola Renewables Indiana interstate bicycle highway Italy Ivan Neville Jamal Crawford James Inhofe Jason Jesse and Fiona Yun junk to funk Kentucky Keystone XL Pipeline KGW Lake Michigan Las Vegas LEED Certified Left Coast Cellars Lemelson Vineyards Les Schwab Amphitheatre license plates Little Big Branch lobbyists lobsterman lungs MAC Maceo Parker Macindoe Family Cellars Mark Klosterman Mayor Emanuel McMenamins mcminnville Meatless Monday Memorial Day Miami Erie Canal Microsoft migrating birds military Miss Teen Earth Mississippi River mt hood Mt. Hood Scenic Highway Multnomah Falls MusicFest Northwest MusicfestNW New Jersey New Seasons New Year New York New York City New York Times NFL Niger Nissan Leaf NOAA non partisan northeast Northwest Shingle Recyclers NPR Obama Administration ocean off shore oil platform Ogallala Aquifer Ohio Ohio University oil oil platforms Olympia Olympia Snowe Oregon oregon beaches Oregon Ducks Oregon State University Oregon wines oregon zoo organic coffee overpopulation Ovie Mughelli partisan party pdx pedestrians Philadelphia Eagles pickathon Pink Floyd plastic plastic bag ban plastic bags plate and pitchfork polar ice caps politicians pollution population growth portland Portland Oregon portland oregon in the fall Portland tours Portland Trailblazers powells books preservation President Obama Presidential campaigns Presidential Debates Prius privatized recycling project syndicate pub crawls R99 rain forests Rainbow Wedding Expo rainforest raised gardens recreation recycle recycling Red Lion renewable renewable energy Renewable energy ghost towns reuse Rex Hill Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Ridgefield Nature Preserve roads Robert Cray Rose Festival Rose Garden Arena safety Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Sam Adams Sasquatch Music Festival Sauvie Island Sauvie Island Organics Science Daily Seahawks Seattle Seattle Seahawks see portland sewage runoff sharks Sherwood shuttles Siria Bojorquez Small Business Saturday Smith Berry Farms Smithsonian Institue snow Sokol Blosser solar energy solar power Solyndra Soter Vineyards spell check spiders State of the Union stem cell research Steve Miller Band Steven Chu Stoller Vineyards studded tires stumptown coffee Styrofoam subway summer Sun Gold Farms Sunnyside superfund site superstorm sustainability sustainable energy sustainable gift wrapping sustainable living sustainable transportation sustainable travel SW Washington Talk of the Nation Science Friday Tesla Texas Thanksgiving the Antlers The Flaming Lips the Wall Thee Oh Sees Three MIle Island Titanic Toronto tours toxins Toyohashi University of Technology Toyota Prius Trail Blazers transfer service transportation trash trashion travel oregon travel portland Travelocity trees University of Vermont Univore used cooking oil Van Wert Vancouver Canucks vegetable oil veggie oil Viridian Farms washington washington park oregon Washington Post waste free wedding Waterfront Blues Fest waterfront blues festival weddings weekend Will Sampson Willamette River Willamette Riverkeepers Willamette Valley Willamette Valley Vineyards Wilsonville wind energy wind farm wind farms wind power wind turbines Winderlea Vineyards wine wine tasting wine tour wine tours winter Yale Yale Project on Climate Change Communication Yucca Mountain Zanzibar

The Green Commuter

Sign Up for our Quarterly Newsletter to find out what we and the rest of the industry are doing to make Green Commuting work.