Governor Blagojevich signs law to boost use of biodiesel in state and local government vehicles

Innovative effort benefits Illinois agriculture, environment and helps promote energy independence

SPRINGFIELD—In another aggressive effort to promote energy independence, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed into law a measure to boost the use of biodiesel throughout Illinois. The law requires state government, county and local governments, school districts, universities and community colleges and mass transit agencies to fuel their diesel vehicles with 2 percent biodiesel, a renewable fuel typically made from soybeans.

This new law, the second bill the governor has signed this summer to promote biodiesel, solidifies Illinois’ status as the nation’s leading biodiesel user. Early this summer, Gov. Blagojevich approved legislation that provides rebates for drivers using fuels with a minimum 20 percent biodiesel blend.

“The state must take the lead in protecting the environment. Under this new law, all levels of government in Illinois will now start using more of this cleaner fuel that’s good for Illinois’ farmers, the economy and the environment,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “This gets Illinois on the road toward greater energy independence and less reliance on imported oil.”

State facilities already use 2 percent biodiesel fuel in accordance with an executive order issued by the governor in 2004. Local governments, community colleges and mass transit systems will now join the state in boosting biodiesel use.

“Some people feel that farming and fuel production are at odds with the environment. However, this legislation shows that there is common ground and I believe it will only increase,” State Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said.

“This legislation is an important first step in providing a market for a fuel that cleans our environment, provides a new market for our farmers and reduces our dependence on foreign oil,” State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) said.

Biodiesel helps reduce air pollution and protect public health by cutting emissions of soot, carbon monoxide and global warming gases.

House Bill 112 is effective July 1, 2006.

From the Aug. 3-9, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!