Camp Lejeune Gets Biofuel Made in NC
Marines at Camp Lejeune are welcoming the shipment of locally-produced biofuel. 800 gallons were delivered today as a demonstration of the capability of biofuel in North Carolina. The delivery is part of the efforts of the North Carolina Eastern Region's Military Growth Task Force. George Miller is the Program Manager for the Food and Fuel Program for the task force. He says the crop was grown in eastern North Carolina in Jones and Craven Counties, turned into 100 percent biofuel at the Piedmont Biofuels refinery in Pittsboro, then sent to Potter Oil back east.
George Miller: "And they blended it with fossil fuels to deliver a demonstration shipment of biodiesel that was planted, refined, delivered specifically to the military, so that the farmer in eastern North Carolina directly provided the fuel to the warriors in North Carolina. "
The fuel is called B-20, a blend of 80% petroleum and 20% biofuel. It will be used in garbage trucks and other non-combat vehicles at Lejeune.
Miller: "This biodiesel will specifically be put on its own tanker truck and it'll be sent out to the landfill. This will all be used in the garbage trucks and the heavy equipment at the landfill on base. "
Lejeune already uses biofuels for those vehicles, but it mostly comes from out of state. Even this shipment, while grown in eastern North Carolina, had to be produced in the Piedmont because there isn't a proper refinery in the east.
Miller: "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to burn fossil fuels to transport biofuels, from an energy standpoint. But from an economic standpoint, other states subsidize their biodiesel industry so they can be competitive in North Carolina. "
Miller says having a refinery in eastern North Carolina would make the program more sustainable.
Miller:" This was soup to nuts done from the farm to the base and it's just the first small step in our efforts to get this industry up and running. "
The military has to meet federal mandates to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015 and increase its use of renewable energy.