Before the Utilities and Energy Committee
by Sue Jones, NRCM energy project director
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the Natural Resources Council of Maine (Council). I am Sue Jones, and am the Energy Project Director for the Council. I live in Freeport. The Council is a public interest, nonprofit organization that seeks to protect and conserve Maine’s environment for now and future generations. As part of the Council’s work, we advocate for clean air and energy measures, including those that reduce global warming pollution.
The Council supports LD 1047 because it would study the feasibility of additional use and substitution of biodiesel (over conventional diesel) in Maine. Moreover, we support it because it would analyze the capacity for in-state production of biodiesel. We believe that these two things – expanding the market as well as production in-state – go hand-in-hand in a successful market strategy for Maine. Having a coordinated approach that involves in-state production as LD 1047 proposes would increase our energy independence and security and would also reduce costs and air and global warming emissions associated with transporting fuels into and around Maine.
Recently, at least one study regarding in-state production of biodiesel was completed. More study would be useful in evaluating the feasibility and potential economic impacts of locating a production facility as well growing feedstocks (rapeseed being one of the best) in Maine.
For further information on our position on biodiesel, attached please find our comments submitted in support of another biodiesel bill, LD 197.