by Andrea Fox
Jack Johnson kicked off his To The Sea Tour July 9th at the Hartford, Conn. Comcast Center with biodiesel sourced from local processor BioPur and delivered by Hale Hill for his tour fleet of 12 tractor trailers and busses.
It’s enough fuel to get him through his stop in Mansfield, Mass. and points along the way to New York this week when he’ll refuel. At a cost of $3.30 per gallon with delivery, Johnson eliminates sulfur emissions and cuts the tour’s ozone forming potential in half.
While biodiesel has been challenged over the past year from campaigns like “Food Before Fuel,” according to Tanner Watt, assistant director of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA), the crop land question doesn’t make sense. Biodiesel is made from waste cooking oil and co-product, such as leftover oil from soy processing, not corn or palm products, he said. The power of the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association-funded campaign is causing enough media confusion that the biodiesel industry and local businesses “get taken out of the game before we have a chance,” he said.
The SBA team talked with concert goers about the manufacture of biodiesel and many wrote personal handwritten letters to Senator Dodd asking for his support to reinstate the Federal Biodiesel Producers Tax Credit. Industry claims lack of the tax credit is quickly reversing success of the budding domestic fuel industry-which offers a fuel alternative with fewer emissions of many toxins, greenhouse gasses, and other pollutants.
While the public tries to make sense of it all, SBA members continue to serve clients like Phish, Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, Jack Johnson and others that have committed to lowering their organizations and personal carbon emissions in part through biodiesel.
When Johnson stopped by the SBA/BioPur booth to greet his guests before the gates opened to the public in Hartford, he casually summed up the biodiesel and biofuel sourcing debate in his very natural way.
“It’s all a long conversation,” he said to the dedicated team.
Johnson’s To the Sea Tour stops at the PNC Bank Arts Center tomorrow in Holmdel, New Jersey and plays Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, July 14th. To learn more about biodeisel, see the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance online or on Facebook.