Biodiesel in the Pacific Northwest
Hart, Noelle M.
Townsend, Patricia A. ?q (Patricia Ann)
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This publication presents background about biodiesel fuel and discusses its role in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), including relevant policies, usage, feedstock sources, and production. Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum-derived diesel that is produced from fats, such as vegetable oil and used cooking oil. Potential benefits of biodiesel include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower dependence on foreign oil, air quality improvements, safer fuel handling and storage, and rural development opportunities. Both federal and state policies incentivize biodiesel production and use. These policies were created in response to rising oil prices and limited supply of domestic oil in the early 2000s. The PNW appeared to be a promising region for a biodiesel industry, with the ability to grow and process feedstocks and produce, transport, and consume biodiesel. Today in the PNW, biodiesel and its feedstocks are made, sold, and consumed, but significant economic barriers (e.g., low petroleum prices) and policy uncertainties have limited the expansion of the biodiesel industry. However, one of the largest US biodiesel production facilities is located in Hoquiam, Washington. Oregon is enforcing low-carbon fuel policies, and there is potential for increased regional growing and processing of biodiesel feedstocks.