Pennsylvania Meets Milestone for Biodiesel Production, Triggering Mandate

January 26, 2009

Pennsylvania has met its first milestone for producing biodiesel and that has activated a new mandate requiring every gallon of diesel fuel sold to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel within one year. The milestone—production of 40 million gallons on an annualized basis—was achieved in September 2008.

On January 15, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell announced the 2 percent mandate would go into effect, now that the biodiesel production levels have been verified by the state Department of Agriculture.

Act 78, a state law passed in July 2008, requires that every gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel contain a percentage of ethanol and biodiesel, respectively. But the requirements can only go into effect when in-state production reaches certain levels. The production volumes reported to the department were 3.9 million gallons in June, 2.9 million gallons in July, and nearly 3.2 million gallons in August. The calculation used to determine the mandate trigger is the total gallons produced over a three-month period and then multiplied by four.

The new law mandates that all diesel fuel sold at retail must contain:

  • 2 percent biodiesel, once in-state production reaches 40 million gallons
  • 5 percent biodiesel, once in-state production reaches 100 million gallons
  • 10 percent biodiesel, once in-state production reaches 200 million gallons
  • 20 percent biodiesel, once in-state production reaches 400 million gallons.

All gasoline sold at retail must contain10 percent ethanol, once in-state cellulosic ethanol production reaches 350 million gallons.

"Last year, Pennsylvania motorists spent approximately $30 billion on fuels produced beyond our borders," Rendell said. "Rather than sending that money overseas, we can put it to work in Pennsylvania to support industries that are developing and transporting home-grown biofuels. At the same time, we are helping our farmers and rural communities reap the economic benefits of America's move toward energy independence."

For more information, see the governor's January 15 press release.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Pennsylvania, see: