Biodiesel conference Wednesday

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(Host) Proponents of biodiesel gather for a conference in Burlington tomorrow to chart the future of the vegetable based fuel in Vermont.

They say it’s possible biodiesel could supply Vermont’s farms with their fuel needs – and boost the state’s economy. 

Ellen Kahler is the executive Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, which recently issued a report on the economic potential of biodeisel.

(Kahler) "And what we found out was that somewhere between 50,000 and 90,000 acres in Vermont could be converted to oil seed crops. That would be on a rotational basis so it wouldn’t be every year. But that would be basically enough to take care of all  of the on-farm biodiesel needs of the farming community."

(Host) Kahler says some farmers are already growing fuel crops and producing biodiesel for their own needs.

Nataka White of the Vermont Biofuels Association, says there’s also commercial potential in producing biofuels.  He says the state could support up to three biodiesal facilities – each producing as much as  two and half million gallons annually.  

(White) "And so some of the farms that have a bigger land base than they might need to meet their own needs  could also be producing soy or sunflower or canola to supply that oil to those biodiesel plants."

(Host) Biodiesel blends are also being offered by Vermont fuel dealers for home heating. 

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