Connecticut Dedicates its First Biodiesel Production Facility, Forms Biofuels Working Group

July 18, 2006

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell presided over the dedication of Connecticut's first biodiesel production facility in Bethlehem on July 5. The plant is owned by a local group called BioPur Inc. and will produce up to 1.5 million gallons of biodiesel per year from soybeans. It is the largest such facility in southern New England and will double the company's production capacity.

Speaking in front of a group of dignitaries, Governor Rell pointed out that biodiesel produces fewer emissions than conventional diesel. For example, a 20 percent mix of biodiesel to 80 percent diesel — B20 — will result in a 12.6 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) and18 percent fewer particulates. She said, "With this state-of-the-art facility, Bethlehem is helping to define our economic future as a region and is paving the way for greater energy independence as a nation." For more information, see the governor's July 5 press release.

Later in the month, Rell announced the formation of a state working group to explore the expansion of the biofuels industry in the state. The working group will be composed of the Connecticut Office of Policy Management, the Department of Administrative Services, and the Department of Agriculture. The Office of Policy Management manages the State Energy Program in Connecticut. Rell said she has created a new Energy Division within the office to help the state shape energy policies.

The governor made the announcement as part of a series of energy proposals she sent to the Connecticut Legislature. She asked legislative leaders if they would be willing to hold a special session to deal with the proposals. Governor Rell said, “It is especially important that we give additional emphasis to renewable sources of energy — like ethanol — that will protect consumers and benefit everyone for years to come." For more information, see the governor's July 17 press release.