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Governor Significantly Increases State's Biodiesel Purchase
AUGUSTA -- Governor John E. Baldacci today announced the expanded use of biodiesel to heat state office buildings this winter. In Augusta, the Blaine House, State Planning Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles have been heated since last fall with a B20 blend of biodiesel. This year, the State House, Cross State Office Building, State Museum, and a number of other buildings will also be heated with a biodiesel blend.
"In just over a year after the creation of the Office of Energy Independence and Security, Maine State Government has become a leader nationally for its sustainable energy practices," stated Governor Baldacci. "Expanding the use of biodiesel is a win for energy independence and a win for the environment. The purchase of renewable fuels increases energy efficiency, improves air and water quality, and reduces the risk of global warming."
According to Jean Arbour, Procurement and Contract Manager of the Division of Purchases, Department of Administrative and Financial Services, the price differential between petro-fuel and biodiesel has come down, allowing the State to increase its biodiesel purchase within bugetary constraints. This winter's purchase of nearly 360,000 gallons of a 10 percent biodiesel blend (B10) is a six and one-half fold increase over last year's purchase of 27,000 gaillons of a B20 blend.
Beth Nagusky, Director of the Office of Energy Independence and Security, said that her office continues to explore the economic viability of siting a waste vegetable oil reprocessing facility in Maine to convert used restaurant oil into biodiesel. "We are hoping that the renewable fuel in the State's purchase and the growing demand for this clean, renewable fuel in Maine will help to make such a project economic. said Ms. Nagusky. Maine restaurants produce over 1 million gallons of waste vegetable oil per year. Restaurants pay to have this oil collected and shipped out of state for processing. "Ultimately, Maine's farmers might be able to grow crops that can be used as bio-fuels, further reducing out dependence on imported oil."
For more information on state government energy programs, policies and regulations, or to learn more about how individuals can save energy and money though conservation and efficiency, please visit http://www.maineenergyinfo.com
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