BioWillie Biodiesel

Bob King, President of Pacific Biodiesel, joins Willie Nelson in Oregon as he fuels his tour bus with biodiesel.
Photo: Pacific Biodiesel .

Beginning on April 30, Willie Nelson’s birthday, the fuel at Pacific Biodiesel’s retail pump on Maui will be sold as the trademarked BioWillie Biodiesel. The branding is the brainchild of superstar Willie Nelson, a Maui resident whose involvement in, and support of, community-based biodiesel production began in the islands when his wife Annie bought their first diesel car in 2003 and filled up at Pacific Biodiesel. The Maui biodiesel fuel pump, located at 40 Hobron Avenue in Kahului, is open to the diesel-driving public 24 hours a day.

To celebrate Willie’s birthday, customers who fill up April 30 between 8am and 5:30pm, with a minimum purchase of five gallons will receive a free BioWillie bumper sticker and can enter a drawing to win a Pacific Biodiesel cap autographed by Willie Nelson himself.

Although there had been a previous attempt to use the brand several years ago, a new agreement with Pacific Biodiesel focuses on the fuel quality as well as sustainability aspects. The BioWillie brand specifies that the fuel must meet or exceed standards for biodiesel established by the American Society of Testing and Materials, and that feedstock sources are known and can be confirmed as meeting the best practices described by the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance. In addition, BioWillie Biodiesel must be produced in America, from American feedstock, and used in America within a reasonable region.

Founded in Maui in 1996 by local businessman Robert King, Pacific Biodiesel has built 13 plants in the U.S. and Japan, and is recognized worldwide as a pioneer and advocate for the establishment of sustainable community-based biodiesel. The company was the first to operate a retail biodiesel pump in the U.S. and is the most experienced biodiesel company in America. At this writing, the Pacific Biodiesel pump station in Kahului boasts the least expensive diesel fuel of any retail pump in the County.

Willie Nelson is a founding member of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance and his advocacy for locally produced biodiesel is documented in the film Revolution Green, narrated by actor Woody Harrelson, another Maui resident who drives on biodiesel.

Willie’s mainland tour buses run on biodiesel whenever possible, sourced by the SBA to make sure their feedstock origins are sustainable. Next month Nelson will release Heroes, his first album for Legacy Recordings, which will showcase new songs and deep country classics with guest artists including Merle Haggard, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson.

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