Aug. 29, 2008
Barack Obama Kicks Off Official Campaign with Biodiesel Plant Tour
Presidential Candidate Affirms Commitment to Energy Independence and Green Jobs with Acceptance Speech and Launching his Fall Campaign at Pennsylvania Biodiesel
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– Last night, millions watched as Sen. Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for President. Today, one of his first stops as the official standard bearer of his party will be a tour of Pennsylvania Biodiesel, a plant located in Monaca, just outside Pittsburgh.
"America heard Sen. Obama's commitment to investment in biofuels and the opportunity for energy independence, a cleaner environment and good paying green jobs that our industry can deliver," said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, from the association's headquarters in Missouri. "We're pleased biodiesel will play a significant role in the presidential campaign discussion. A strategy for helping Americans end our reliance on foreign oil should be a bipartisan goal."
Pat Copple, president of Pennsylvania Biodiesel, said that it is an honor to have Obama visit the plant. "We're eager not only to show Sen. Obama how biodiesel is made, but how it is a sustainable part of our energy solution right now," he said. "We hope he leaves with a strong understanding of how important continued federal support is, including extension of the biodiesel tax incentive."
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell and Sen. Robert Casey were also scheduled to attend. The state has taken a progressive approach in passing pro-biodiesel legislation. This year, Pennsylvania passed legislation to incentivize production, as well as a 2% mandate that takes effect one year after in-state production exceeds 40 million gallons.
"Sen. Obama made a wise choice to visit a Pennsylvania plant," said Ben Wootton, president of the Pennsylvania Biodiesel Producers Group. "Our state is on the cutting edge of producing the next wave of biofuels and encouraging Americans to make energy independence an achievable goal."
There are 171 biodiesel plants nationwide. Last year, the industry produced 500 million gallons of biodiesel. The NBB is the national trade association of the biodiesel industry and is the coordinating body for biodiesel research and development in the U.S. Its membership is comprised of biodiesel producers, state, national, and international feedstock and feedstock processor organizations, fuel marketers and distributors, and technology providers.