EPA honors Willie Nelson for biodiesel activism
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 honored biodiesel advocate and singer Willie Nelson earlier this week in recognition of Nelson's support of the cleaner burning fuel.
During the agency's eighth annual Environmental Awards ceremony in San Francisco, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri recognized Nelson's environmental efforts that promote biodiesel.
Biodiesel is a diesel fuel substitute made from soybean oil and other natural fats and vegetable oils, works in any diesel vehicle. It can be blended with petroleum diesel at any level. In February, Willie Nelson Biodiesel, the company in which Nelson is a partner, and Pearson Ford Fuels in San Diego joined forces with distributor Plavan Petroleum to create California's first fulltime "BioWillie" B20 (20 percent biodiesel) retail outlet. BioWillie is the singer's unique brand of fuel.
Nelson first heard about biodiesel two years ago. He said that upon learning about it from his wife, Annie Nelson, it made perfect sense to him. "I said, ah ha, this is a light at the end of the tunnel, a way we can grow our way out of some of the problems we are in. I wanted to do something to help get the word out."
Nelson began promoting biodiesel on a national scale. As a founding member of Farm Aid, he has been a tireless advocate for farmers, while he also shares a kinship with America's truckers. Willie Nelson Biodiesel is his approach to make biodiesel more available to truckers.
Nelson premiered the business at Carl's Corner, a truck stop south of Dallas, in October 2004. Since then, he has opened public pumps at truckstops nationwide. His advocacy has dramatically increased public awareness of biodiesel, especially within the trucking industry.