City expands use of environmentally friendly biodiesel
Brie Matthews, a 12-year San Francisco paramedic, relates
her safety concern
for patients, herself and coworkers which spawned her idea to
move the City
toward greater use of biodiesel fuel.
From the Mayor's Office of Communications
May 19, 2006
Standing in front of a gleaming red SFFD Hook and Ladder, Mayor
Gavin Newsom yesterday announced an ambitious new citywide initiative
to increase use of biodiesel and reduce the harmful effects on
air quality of regular diesel fuel.
Newsom also issued an executive directive to increase the pace
of municipal use of biodisel, making San Francisco the largest
U.S. city to ever institute such broad biodiesel use.
The City uses about 8 million gallons of diesel a year. That
means the switch to a B20 (a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum
diesel) could create demand for up to two million gallons of pure
Biodiesel significantly cuts harmful environmental emissions,
promotes greater energy independence and boosts our economy. Biodiesel
is a renewable diesel fuel that is made from domestic resources
such as soybean oil of other domestic fats and vegetable oils.
It can be used in any diesel engine with few or no medications,
and can be blended with petroleum diesel at any level.
"San Francisco has long been a leader in its commitment
to alternative transportation Fuels to promote clean air, encourage
renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said
Mayor Gavin Newsom
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick said, "With abundant renewable
energy resources and local expertise from our biodiesel cooperatives
and distributors San Francisco has all the elements necessary
to create a biodiesel fueling infrastructure. I am enthusiastic
about the potential to make San Francisco the national leader
in biodiesel use."
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
Spearheading the effort to transition to biodiesel, the San Francisco
Fire Department has initiated a ix-month pilot program to test
and monitor the use of B20 in two fire trucks, six engines and
The program will take place in the southeastern section of San
Francisco, an area that consistently experiences the City's poorest
air quality. Upon successful completion of the pilot program,
the Fire Department expects to expand the use of biodiesel throughout
Since 1999, the City's Health Air and Smog prevention ordinance
has established requirements for City fleets to purchase vehicles
using alternative fuels or energy efficient vehicles with low
emissions. San Francisco now has more than 800 alternative fuel
vehicles in its fleet.
Several City departments and agencies are already using B20,
including the San Francisco Airport, Department of Public Works,
Muni buses, and the San Francisco Zoo. Ferries operating out of
San Francisco also have used B20 with excellent results.